The best books to learn about refugees

Kao Kalia Yang Author Of From the Tops of the Trees
By Kao Kalia Yang

The Books I Picked & Why

Sea Prayer

By Khaled Hosseini

Sea Prayer

Why this book?

Hosseini's book is timely and important. It is a story inspired by the image of a child washed up on the beach of a foreign shore. It tells the story of another child, whose parent send them off on a vessel across a wide ocean in search of a less turbulent future. The art is sweeping. The words travel far into the heart.


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A Different Pond

By Bao Phi, Thi Bui

A Different Pond

Why this book?

Phi returns to the fishing trips of his childhood with his refugee father. The story is set beautifully in Minneapolis but sails far away on the winds of memory. A celebrated poet, Phi’s words are metaphorically rich and the story is nuanced and gentle. The illustrations are powerfully conceived and rendered from Caldecott honor illustration Thi Bui.


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The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

By Ibtihaj Muhammad, S. K. Ali, Hatem Aly

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

Why this book?

The voice of a child is tenderly captured in this telling of a refugee story, how a child’s relationship to a color and the different members of her family help build a home. The language is simple and evocative. The art is immersive and emotional. The cultural details of this family are beautifully communicated and drawn.


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Dreamers

By Yuyi Morales

Dreamers

Why this book?

Here the words and illustrations are one, the language flows into the pictures, and emerges page by page. Each is a lush invitation to remember, to play, to imagine and dream of the past and present. It commemorates the beauty of language and how generous stories can be to those who are looking for belonging in the world.


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Teacup

By Rebecca Young, Matt Ottley

Teacup

Why this book?

In the space where our fears and our hopes live, there is the landscape of our dreams and nightmares. This book lushly carries a boy's search for home to readers everywhere. It's a magical book for it carries a great deal of room for the reader to step into the words and images within. 


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