Tag Archives: immigration

The Matchbox Diary

By Paul Fleischman

Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Published by Candlewick Press, 2013

A little girl is visiting her great-grandfather and he tells her to choose something from his room and he will tell her about it.  She chooses a cigar box filled with little matchboxes.  In each box is a small object, and tells a story about her great-grandfather as a young boy, illiterate, but wanting to remember his life in Italy, his journey to America, and the hard road his family took to get to where they are now.  

A great history book to accompany discussion about immigration into the United States and the realities of the difficult lives that immigrants experienced.

Awards: A Junior Library Guild Selection, Amazon Best Book

Accessed: Augusta County Library


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Feivel’s Flying Horses

by Heidi Smith Hyde

Illustrated by Johanna va der Sterr

Published by Kar Ben, 2010

Set in the heyday of American immigration, Feivel, a skilled woodcarver, travels to America and leaves his family behind to make a better life for them.  At first, his success was slow, but then he discovered a carousel maker looking for a woodcarver.  Feivel immediately took the job.  He carved beautiful horses in memory of his family back home, and after three long years, he finally makes enough money to send for his family, and ride the carousel together.

A moving tale, this book is great for introducing the era of immigration to U.S. History students in 10th grade as well as being a great story book for all ages.

Includes a historical note at the back of the book

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Tea with Milk

By Allen Say

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1999

May is a Japanese American who becomes a Japanese immigrant with her family while she is in high school.  By then, she has really become more American than Japanese and has a difficult time adapting to the expectations of Japanese village life.  Finally, she decides to strike out on her own and moves to Osaka work.  She meets her future husband, and she finds that she is grateful for the lessons that her mother forced her to learn.  In the end, she realizes that home is wherever she decides to be, and is content living in Japan.

A great book to use when speaking about multiculturalism and immigration/ emigration.  Many students whose parents harken from another country have a difficult time straddling the fence of expectations from the country they live in and the cultures that their parents bring to their new adopted country.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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