Captivating stories of the immigrant and refugee experience can help kids understand what people go through when they move to a new country and start new lives.
These novels and memoirs can help build empathy among readers, and kids from immigrant families can see reflections of their own struggles and triumphs.
Looking for more resources?
The director of Latino content and outreach at Common Sense Media shares her advice about discussing the news of family separations at the border.
Preschoolers (ages 2–4)
A fun, bilingual take on being a documented immigrant
Poetic call to be proud of your heritage in a diverse world
Little kids (ages 5–7)
Fun look at immigration celebrates bringing items from home
Moving book about child refugees brought to life by photos
Exquisitely tender family story of Vietnamese refugees
Spirited Ruby faces changing family, friends in fun series
Big kids (ages 8–9)
Complex adventure mixes immigration issues, space travel
Historic immigration station comes alive in photos, poems
Wordless immigrant story is a visual masterpiece
Moving story of Jewish sisters living as refugees in Sweden
Immigrant girl braves early 1900s NYC in tale of resilience
Harrowing, heartfelt tale of Central American teen refugees
Tweens (ages 10–12)
Unusual mix of history and fantasy makes an engrossing read
Historical fiction at its best in story of '30s farmworkers
Inspiring, educational immigrant story told in free verse
Relatable story of Iranian girl in U.S. who wants to fit in.
Harrowing page-turner sheds light on child refugees
Intense story about illegal immigration and friendship
Life and 9/11 through lens of 11-year-old Afghan immigrant
Suspenseful installment explores death penalty, immigration
Moving free-verse tale of immigrant girl's new life in United Kingdom
Touching take on Lost Boys of Sudan, based on true story
Harrowing journey of family fleeing Cuba on a raft
Moving verse tale of girl's experience in Darfur genocide
Poignant memoir-in-verse recalls Cuban-American's childhood
Cross-cultural teen love story is heartfelt, enlightening
Gripping story of Mexican boy who migrates to U.S. alone
Writing shines in pioneer saga of friendship and struggle
Ballerina's frank, inspiring tale of perseverance and hope
This story originally published on Common Sense Media.