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10 books about immigration
Pick up one of these featured titles on immigration in May 2021.
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Category: Hispanic & Latino
This book was published last year by One World and takes approximately 6.9 hours to read.
One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. The Undocumented Americans powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American.
Separated: Inside an American Tragedy by Jacob Soboroff
Category: State & Local
This book was published last year by Custom House and takes approximately 13.9 hours to read.
"A deeply reported, newsbreaking account the humanitarian crisis of our time by the journalist who has been at the center of the story: MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, winner of the 2019 Walter Cronkite Award, offers a chilling expose of the human cost of the Trump administration's border and immigration policies."--
Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America by Maria Hinojosa
Category: Television Performers
This book was published last year by Atria Books and takes approximately 11.7 hours to read.
“Maria’s perspective is powerful and vital. Years ago, when In the Heights was just starting off-Broadway, Maria got the word out to our community to support this new musical about our neighborhoods. She has been a champion of our triumphs, a critic of our detractors, and a driving force to right the wrongs our society faces. When Maria speaks, I’m ready to listen and learn.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda Emmy Award–winning journalist and anchor of NPR’s Latino USA, Maria Hinojosa, tells the story of immigration in America through her family’s experiences and decades of reporting, painting an unflinching portrait of a country in crisis. Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who has collaborated with the most respected networks and is known for bringing humanity to her reporting. In this beautifully-rendered memoir, she relates the history of US immigration policy that has brought us to where we are today, as she shares her deeply personal story. For thirty years, Maria Hinojosa has reported on stories and communities in America that often go ignored by the mainstream media. Bestselling author Julia Alvarez has called her “one of the most important, respected, and beloved cultural leaders in the Latinx community.” In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the south side of Chicago and documenting the existential wasteland of immigration detention camps for news outlets that often challenged her work. In these pages, she offers a personal and eye-opening account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also enabled willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today. This honest and heartrending memoir paints a vivid portrait of how we got here and what it means to be a survivor, a feminist, a citizen, and a journalist who owns her voice while striving for the truth. Once I Was You is an urgent call to fellow Americans to open their eyes to the immigration crisis and understand that it affects us all. Also available in Spanish as Una vez fui tú.
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú
Category: Cultural & Regional
This book was published 2 years ago by Riverhead Books and takes approximately 9.6 hours to read.
NAMED A TOP 10 BOOK OF 2018 BY NPR and THE WASHINGTON POST SHORTLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL OF EXCELLENCE The instant New York Times bestseller, "A must-read for anyone who thinks 'build a wall' is the answer to anything." --Esquire For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Driven to understand the hard realities of the landscape he loves, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Plagued by a growing awareness of his complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the full extent of the violence it wreaks, on both sides of the line.
Come On In: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home by Adi Alsaid
This book was published last year by Inkyard Press and takes approximately 10.7 hours to read.
This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants. WELCOME From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today...journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah, from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey, from Fiji, America, Mexico and more... Come On In. With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands, who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL, give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question "where are you from?" and so much more, Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience.
Watch Me: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration by Doyin Richards
This book was published this year by Feiwel & Friends and takes approximately 1.3 hours to read.
A picture book about immigration, Watch Me is based on the author's own story. Joe came to America from Africa when he was young. He worked hard in school, made friends, and embraced his new home. Like so many immigrants before and after him, Joe succeeded when many thought he would fail. In telling the story of how his father came to America, Doyin Richards tells the story of many immigrants, and opens the experience up to readers of all backgrounds. Here is a moving and empowering story of how many different people, from different places, make us great. Acclaimed artist Joe Cepeda brings the story to life with beautiful paintings, full of heart.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Category: Books & Libraries
This book was published 3 years ago by Neal Porter Books and takes approximately 1.3 hours to read.
In 1994, 25-year-old YUYI MORALES traveled from her home in Yelapa, Mexico, to the San Francisco Bay Area with her two-month-old son, Kelly, in order to secure permanent residency in this country. Her passage was not easy and she spoke no English whatsoever. But due in large measure to help and guidance provided by area children's librarians, she learned English as her young son learned to read, through the picture books they shared together. In spare, lyrical verse and the vibrant images for which she has become legendary, Yuyi has created a lasting testament to the journeys, both physical and metaphorical, that she and Kelly have taken together in the intervening years. Beautiful and powerful at any time, but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.
The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil
This book was published last year by Tilbury House Publishers and takes approximately 1.2 hours to read.
That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (aunt) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a "quilt" (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi's most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one. This authentic story with beautiful illustrations includes a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents.
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson
This book was published last year by Dial Books and takes approximately 8.8 hours to read.
"Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this ... portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp"--
We estimate total reading time by multiplying a book's page count by an average reading speed of 2 minutes per page. Summaries sourced from Google Books.
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