Concepts for Kids
1. When war, starvation, poverty, and violence make life difficult for people, they sometimes move to a new country. This is called immigration.
2. Over time, millions of people have moved to new countries.
3. Almost always, people move from less free to more free countries.
4. Since moving to a new country is difficult and even dangerous, it shows how important freedom is for making life better.
Info for Grown Ups
The Great American Melting Pot song;
good song but only includes European immigrants
Read about and hear the words of present day immigrant children from different countries.
Explore family history to find ancestor immigrants.
Find out where they came from, where they settled, and what kind of work they did.
Share old photos, family stories, and heirlooms.
Coming To America: The Story of Immigration
by Betsy Maestro
This is an inclusive, well-researched, pleasingly written, and sensitively illustrated picture book about immigration to the United States. It begins with the Native American prehistoric colonization of North and South America and continues through the twentieth century. The book emphasizes the desire of immigrants for freedom, safety and good fortune. It even-handedly discusses the history of immigration to the US, westward expansion, experiences of immigrants, enslavement of Africans, mistreatment of Native Americans, and hardships suffered by immigrants. The story ends by celebrating the many contributions of immigrants to American prosperity and culture.
Kids Discover: Immigration
KIds Discover is a monthly publication where each issue addresses one topic.
Using text comprehensible to 8 year olds and up, photographs, artwork, detailed captions, graphs, interviews, and puzzles, this issue explores the many facets of immigration.
Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
by Linda Glaser
This is the story of how Emma Lazarus, who grew up with plenty of everything, took up the cause of poor immigrants. To help raise money for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, she composed a poem entitled "The New Colossus." The poem and sentiments it expresses would become an integral part of the statue's persona.
L is for Liberty
by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
This book weaves historic facts about the Statue of Liberty with an explanation of what the statue stands for and why it is important.
Peppe The Lamplighter
By Elisa Bartone
The young son of an Italian immigrant gets a job as a lamplighter. He enjoys the work but not his father's initial disappointment. Peppe demonstrates the hardships of immigration and the hard work immigrants do.
by Elizabeth Carney
This nonfiction book is suitable for 8 year olds and older. It combines text with captioned photographs. Each short chapter describes one relevant topic about immigration to the US including the experiences of actual immigrants and facts about Ellis Island itself. Potentially difficult words are defined in "Words to Know" boxes as well as a glossary.
All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family
by Dan Yaccarino
Five generations of Yaccarinos have lived in America. Learn how, over the years, this family grew in size and prosperity while holding on to its values and an unusual heirloom.
When Jessie Came Across the Sea
by Amy Hest
Jessie is a thirteen year old orphan living with her grandmother when she unexpectedly receives a ticket to America. Through the passage, adjusting to her new home, and practicing her craft, Jessie succeeds by working hard and sharing her gifts with others.
Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey
by Margaret Ruurs
Written in both English and Arabic, this is the story of a refugee family's journey out of war-ravaged Syria. The illustrations are expressive scenes created with arrangements of stones.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings
by Richard Simon & Tanya Simon
After the Nazi's take control of Germany, Oskar's parents send him to America. He arrives in New York City on the seventh day of Hanukkah which, that year, is also Christmas Eve. Oskar must walk over a hundred blocks to Aunt Ester's building. Though he is alone, hungry, cold, and penniless, Oskar's difficult trek is made easier by the generosity of eight strangers he meets along the way.
The Matchbox Diary
by Paul Fleischman
Because he could neither read nor write, a young Italian boy kept small objects that reminded him of his life's experiences. He stored them in matchboxes. As a elderly man, he tells his great granddaughter the story of his immigration to America as they open the matchboxes and discuss what is inside each one.
Flight to Freedom
by Ana Veciana-Suarez
Written in the style of a diary and suitable for older elementary age students and older, this chapter book chronicles the life of a young girl who moves from Havana to the Miami in the late 1960's. The difficulties of life in Communist Cuba are clear, but so are the challenges of adapting to a new country and culture. Though Yara and her family members experience oppression and suffering in Cuba, they still miss it intensely after they leave.
Letters from Rifka
by Karen Hesse
Suitable for 12 year olds and older, this beautifully written and moving book is based on a true story. In the early 1900's, Rifka and her family flee Russia to escape violence and the military conscription of Rifka's brothers. The trip presents a string of troubles for Rifka, which she chronicles in letters to her Russian cousin. Rifka's words clearly document her change from a frightened and uncertain girl to a courageous and confident young woman.