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The Immigrant Experience Yesterday and Today

America is a country of immigrants. Some families arrived several generations ago; some families are newer arrivals. Whether you're looking for stories that relate the immigrant experience of yesteryear, or stories with a more modern-day setting, you'll find both at Canton Public Library. The following is a list of picture book titles that highlight immigration, then and now.

Stories Of Yesteryear

A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.

Fiona's lace by Patricia Polacco

Fiona and her family moved from Ireland to Chicago to begin a new life. Yet, when the family is struck with misfortune, will Fiona's lace help save them?

The matchbox diary by Paul Fleischman

Follows a girl's perusal of her great-grandfather's collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.

The memory coat by Elvira Woodruff

In the early 1900s, two cousins leave their Russian shtetl with the rest of their family to come to America, hopeful that they will all pass the dreaded inspection at Ellis Island.

Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen

In parallel stories, a Ukrainian Jewish family prepares to emigrate to the United States in the late 1800s, and Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designs, raises funds for, and builds the Statue of Liberty in honor of the United States' centennial.

Oranges on Golden Mountain by Elizabeth Partridge

When hard times fall on his family, Jo Lee is sent from China to San Francisco, where he helps his uncle fish and dreams of being reunited with his mother and sister.

Twelve-year-old Lee, an orphan, reluctantly leaves his grandparents in China for the long sea voyage to San Francisco, where he and other immigrants undergo examinations at Angel Island Immigration Station.

Modern-Day Stories

I'm new here by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Three children from other countries (Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea) struggle to adjust to their new home and school in the United States.

Two white rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

A little girl counts the things she sees as she and her father travel, sometimes on foot, sometimes on top of a train, and sometimes in other ways, stop while her father earns more money for the trip, and avoid soldiers and other dangers.

When Saya's mother is sent to jail as an illegal immigrant, she sends her daughter a cassette tape with a song and a bedtime story, which inspires Saya to write a story of her own--one that just might bring her mother home.

A piece of home by Jeri Hanel Watts

Moving with his family from Korea to West Virginia, Hee Jun struggles to adjust to his new home, an unfamiliar language, and the different appearances of his classmates before making friends and bringing a familiar flower home to his grandmother.

The seeds of friendship by Michael Foreman

Adam, an immigrant boy in a big city, is lonely until he see snow for the first time and starts to play with the neighborhood children, but when he starts school he gets some seeds and begins to plant them with help from his new friends.

The color of home by Mary Hoffman

Hassan, newly-arrived in the United States and feeling homesick, paints a picture at school that shows his old home in Somalia as well as the reason his family had to leave.

Joseph's big ride by Terry Farish

Inspired by the author’s interviews with refugee children from Sudan, this gentle story evokes the experience of a new immigrant. Vibrantly colorful paintings bring a warm and humorous portrait of friendship and diversity to life.

My name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams

As a refugee from Sudan to the United States, Sangoel is frustrated that no one can pronounce his name correctly until he finds a clever way to solve the problem.

Here I am by Patti Kim

Tells the story in pictures of a family newly immigrated to the United Sates and the challenges of starting a life in a new place.

Four feet, two sandals by Karen Lynn Williams

Two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a precious pair of sandals brought by relief workers..

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