Tag Archives: Migration

Freedom

Twelve-year-old Nathaniel is a slave on a Jamaican plantation. His mother and sister have been sold, so he is alone. Old Thomas tells him that once a slave sets foot on English soil, he is free. Nathaniel thinks he can earn his fortune and buy his family’s freedom. He is put on a ship sailing to England with his master, but once he gets there he discovers that slavery exists in England, too. Being a slave in London isn’t much better than being a slave in Jamaica. He jumps at his first chance to escape. Real historical characters are integrated into this action-packed story. A historical note on the slave trade, information about the characters, a timeline, and a glossary are included. mjw
Title: Freedom
Author: Catherine Johnson
Publisher
: Scholastic Children’s Books. London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1407-18548-4
Paperback pages
: 150
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: Jamaica, England
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in London, Father is Jamaican, Mother is Welsh
Author’s residence
: London
Awards
: 2020 IBBY Honor List
Subjects
: Action, Freedom, Plantations, Slavery, Slave ships

The Suitcase

A strange, tired, sad, and frightened animal arrives one day pulling a big suitcase. When a bird asks what’s in the suitcase, the animal replies that there is a teacup, a chair, and a kitchen in a wooden cabin. The animal takes a rest and the other animals, who don’t believe him, break open the suitcase and find a broken teacup and an old photograph. When the animal wakes up, he can’t believe what the other animals have done.  They then fix his suitcase the best they can. The strange animal exclaims that it is perfect, but that they don’t have enough teacups for everyone. This powerful story about migration, hope, kindness, and trust, with a lovely ending, is illustrated in pen, ink, pencil, and watercolor. mjw
Title: The Suitcase
Author: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Illustrator
: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Nosy Crow. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-358-32960-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Emotions, Friendship, Kindness, Suitcase, Teacups, Trust

Brother’s Keeper

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live in Communist North Korea in 1950. War is coming and they need to escape.  The family plans to walk the 300 miles from their village to the South Korean city of Busan.  There is a bombing and Sora and her eight-year-old brother Youngsoo are left to get there on their own. It’s winter, and they have to face enemy soldiers, starvation, frostbite, deprivation, and other hardships as they struggle to complete their journey.  This highly engrossing story is loosely based on the author’s mother’s experiences. An author’s note, photographs of the author’s family, a glossary of Korean words, a timeline of the Korean War, and a map of Sora’s journey are included. mjw
Title: Brother’s Keeper
Author: Julie Lee
Publisher
: Holiday House. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0823444946
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia, Communism, History, Korean War, Military action, North Korea, Refugees,  Siblings, South Korea, War zone, Winter

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

Letters From Bear

Bird migrates south for the winter and Bear takes a long journey to find her. Bear writes letters to record her adventures. The letters recount a trip into the scary woods, being rescued by a mermaid, escaping a battle between two human armies, a squirrel’s birthday party, and much more.  Bear finally reaches her destination only to find that Bird never received the letters.  Bird didn’t want to be separated from Bear, so she headed back north.  Bird’s friends devise a plan for the friends to be reunited. Rich paintings illustrate Bear’s adventure. mjw
Title: Letters from Bear
Author: Gauthier David
Illustrator
: Marie Caudry
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Ardizzone
Original Title
: Les lettres de L’ourse
Original Publisher
: Autrement, Belgium
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5536-7
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Drome, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Drome, France
Subjects
: Birds, Bears, Desert, Forest, Letter writing, Mountains, Oceans, Seas, Seasons, Volcanoes

Child Of St. Kilda

Norman John Gilles was one of the last children born on St. Kilda, a group of islands with high cliffs off the Scottish coast.   People lived there for over four thousand years, thriving in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. They survived on sea birds, eggs, and potatoes. There was no crime or need for money.  They had no automobiles.  They trusted and cared for each other. The community came to an abrupt end in 1930 when the remaining St. Kildans begged the British government to evacuate them to the mainland. No one knows what happened. Today, the islands have become a World Heritage Site, recognized for their unique wildlife and vanished culture. The book concludes with a St. Kilda Sketchbook that provides more information and a map.  The stunning images were created by hand using monoprinting techniques. mjw
Title: Child Of St. Kilda
Author: Beth Waters
Illustrator
: Beth Waters
Publisher
: Child’s Play. Auburn, Maine. USA
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-78628-188-3
Hardcover pages
: 64 
Age range
: 4-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Subjects
: Birds, History, Immigration, Mystery, Storms, Survival

A Grain Of Rice

Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family live in rural Vietnam. A flood destroys their village.  Famine and persecution because they are of Chinese ancestry lead the family to flee from their war-torn homeland after the fall of Saigon.  They become boat people and are eventually rescued by the Malaysian Coast Guard. There is a glossary of Vietnamese words. The story is based on events from the author’s childhood. mjw
Title: A Grain Of Rice
Author: Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-25-8
Paperback pages
: 154
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Vietnam
Author’s ethnicity
: Vietnamese
Author’s residence
: Edmonton, Alberta. Canada 
Subjects
: Famine Food, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Refugees

Crossing The Farak River

Fourteen-year-old Hasina, her younger brother Araf, and her thirteen-year-old cousin Ghadiya are forced out of their home in the Rakhine province of Myanmar when the Sit Tat Myanmar Army invades one night.  They become separated from their parents.  They know to flee because they are persecuted Muslim Rohingyas. They run deep into the Rakhine forest to hide, but when they return to their village, it has been burned and mostly destroyed.  Their house is still standing, but their family is gone. Hasina is a strong, courageous character who fights for her family in this captivating account of the crisis in Myanmar. mjw
Title: Crossing The Farak River
Author: Michelle Aung Thin
Publisher
: Annick Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Hasina
Original Publisher
: Allen and Unwin. Australia
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-77321-396-5
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 11 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Myanmar
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Burma, now Myanmar
Author’s residence
: Australia
Subjects
: Arakan, Buddhists, Burmese, Human trafficking, Muslims, Persecution, Rakhine State,Refugees, Rohingyas, Soldiers

Lubna And Pebble

Lubna lives with her father and brothers in a world of tents.  Her best friend is a shiny, smooth, gray pebble.  She draws a happy face on it and keeps it warm wrapped in a tea towel in a shoebox.  She tells the pebble about home, the war, and that she loves it.  Soon, a little boy arrives.  At first, he has no words.  He coughs, sneezes, smiles, and says his name is Amir.  Lubna and Amir become friends.  One day, Lubna’s daddy announces that they are leaving because they have found a home.  Lubna feels happy, then sad.  Amir cries. Lubna gives Amir her pebble.  He needs it more than she does.  Larger-than-life, stunning illustrations complement this powerful story. mjw
Title: Lubna And Pebble
Author: Wendy Meddour
Illustrator
: Daniel Egneus
Publisher
: Dial Books for Young Readers. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-052-5554-165
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Middle East
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Athens, Greece
Awards; 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Refugees

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945

Vanishing Colors

In this haunting story, a young girl and her mother take shelter in their roofless house to sleep. The mother tells the story of a large bird that flies from the mountains to protect them.  Dark illustrations show that the city is ravaged by war.  The bird reminds the girl of happy memories and colors that were there before.  The girl and her mother can leave when the girl sees all the colors in the rainbow, which makes a bridge across the sky.  The book ends with the mother and child walking on, holding hands, under a rainbow. They will stay together and help each other. mjw
Title: Vanishing Colors
Author: Constance Orbeck-Nilssen
Illustrator
: Akin Duzakin
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Kari Dickson
Original Title
: Fargene som forsvant
Original Publisher
: Vigmostad & Bjorke
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5518-3
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Eastern Europe
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Turkish-Norwegian
Illustrator’s residence
: Norway
Awards:  2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Destruction, Emigration and Immigration, Homelessness and poverty, Migration, Parents, Refugees, Social issues

The Whale The Sea And The Stars

Gerda the blue whale listens to her mother’s beautiful song.  She sings that if Gerda ever gets lost, she should look to the stars and they would guide her.  When Gerda leaves home, she travels from warm equatorial waters to freezing polar waters. She meets penguins, a grouchy octopus, seagulls, orcas, a polar bear, and a narwhal.  Gerda wants to stop traveling and find a special place of her own. She eventually hears someone singing her mother’s song.  It is Lars, her brother.  She has found the most beautiful bay filled with more and more whales: Beluga whales and grey whales, beaked whales and bowhead whales, humpback whales and right whales, all living happily.  She knows her journey is over.  The luminous illustrations were drawn by hand on a graphics tablet and finished using natural color palettes and textures. mjw
Title: The Whale The Sea And The Stars
Author: Adrian Macho
Illustrator
: Adrian Macho
Publisher
: Floris Books, Edinburgh
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Czech
Translator
: Peter Kavecky
Original Title: Gerda Prise Velryby
Original Publisher
: Albatros Media A.S.
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-178250-559-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Slovak
Author’s residence
: Bratislava, Slovakia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Slovak
Illustrator’s residence
: Bratislava, Slovakia
Subjects
: Marine life, Narwhal, Penguins, Polar bears, Stars, Whales