Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Exploring the Immigrant Experience through Literature


I'd like to take a brief moment to talk about this bibliography I have compiled, who it is for and why we (as Americans) need it. 

My final project for Library Materials for Children centers around literature that explores the immigrant experience in North America. The materials collected are for children in grades 3-5, and cover a range of materials from picture books to novels as well as a wide variety of experiences. These books can be used in a classroom setting as part of the social studies curriculum or in the home as jumping off points for conversations about cultural heritage and family traditions. 

As America is made of a patchwork of cultural histories and traditions all swirled together, it is important for children to learn about the many peoples who have become a part of the America we live in today. At some point in their lives, all children will meet someone who is “not from here”—whether that means another town, another state or another nation--and it is in everyone's best interest for our children to be able to empathize with that person. Today, one in every eight residents in the United States is foreign-born, and in more than 2/3 of the country foreign-born residents make up more than 5% of the population. As cross-border travel becomes easier and global communication becomes more frequent with the rise of the digital age, it is imperative that children understand that we are all human even though we may have different cultural traditions. 

We have all experienced the magic of a book: to transport us into someone else's life, to show us the world as we haven't seen it before.  I hope you will consider sharing some of these books with the kids in your life. 

Here is a list of the titles I have compiled. To read brief summaries, please go to my Pinterest board.

Alvarez, Julia. "Return to Sender" (2010).

Cheng, Andrea. "Honeysuckle House" (2004).
Fleischman, Paul. "The Matchbox Diary" (2013).

Himelblau, Linda. "The Trouble Begins" (2005).

House, Silas and Vaswani, Neela. "Same Sun Here" (2013).

Khan, Rukhsana. "Big Red Lollipop" (2010).

Lai, Thanhha. "Inside Out and Back Again" (2013).

Lombardo, Jenny. "Drita, My Homegirl" (2006).
Moore, Julianne. "My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me" (2013). 
Smith, David J. "If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United " (2009).
Tan, Shaun. "The Arrival" (2007). 
Trottier, Maxine. "Migrant" (2011).
Walker, Paul Robert. "All About America: A Nation of Immigrants" (2012)
Williams, Karen Lynn. "My Name Is Sangoel" (2009).

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