100 books like La Frontera

By Deborah Mills,

Here are 100 books that La Frontera fans have personally recommended if you like La Frontera. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Secret Garden

Carla Kessler Author Of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

From my list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, one of my favorite places was in the top branches of a tree. From up there I could watch the world pass by, remaining invisible. I could make up stories about the world below and no one would challenge me. The second best place for me was inside the story of a book, the kind that took you to magical places where children always found a way to win the day. I knew when I “grew up” I would write one of those empowering books. I became a middle school teacher and have since read many wonderful books for this age. Enjoy my list of favorites.  

Carla's book list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference

Carla Kessler Why did Carla love this book?

This book touched many from my generation.

For me, Mary’s abandonment by the adults around her, came close to home. I rooted for her to free her soul. It was the beauty of the garden and the gentle robin that first melted the ice around her heart by connecting her with nature.

Then along came Dickon, who had grown up deeply connected with the earth and inspired her further, and finally Colin, who, like her, had been neglected. They healed each other as they revitalized the garden, experiencing the joys of mother earth.

It reinforced my own faith in mother nature, who also supported me whenever I grappled with my reality. 

By Claire Freedman, Shaw Davidson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Secret Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Rediscover the magical story of Mary Lennox, who arrives in the wild and windswept Yorkshire a sickly and miserable girl - until she discovers a forgotten, Secret Garden.

As Mary works hard to bring the garden back to life, its magic begins to work on her too . . .

This classic and beloved story has been beautifully retold by Claire Freedman and brought to glorious visual life by new illustration talent Shaw Davidson


Book cover of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

Nicki Cornwell Author Of Christophe's Story

From my list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two books that I read as a young child were very important to me. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss made me think about riches, poverty, and the power that rich people have to make stupid rules; and poor people have no choice but to obey them. The Japanese Twins from Lucy Fitch Perkins' series on twins from different cultures gave me a life-long interest in cultural differences. Not only did they think differently, depending on their culture, they also had different skin colours. Later I learned about racism when I worked with unhappy displaced children and interpreted for asylum-seekers. I write from a child's perspective, making books accessible to all ages.

Nicki's book list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war

Nicki Cornwell Why did Nicki love this book?

I was captivated by this picture book. The first two illustrations I have never forgotten: Bartholomew living at the bottom of a hill looks up at King Derwin's Castle at the top of the hill -- a mighty view, and it makes Bartholomew feel mighty small. King Derwin in his castle looks down at Bartholomew sees the houses down below: a mighty view, that makes King Derwin feel mighty important. Bartholomew is told to obey a stupid rule made by the King which leads to surprising consequences.

I learned from this story about the difference between riches and poverty, and the power that riches bring. Later I realised that King Derwin was a Dictator.

By Dr. Seuss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What a lot of hats Bartholomew has in this imaginative and clever tale! Find out what happens when the king asks him to remove them...one by one.

Bartholomew Cubbins is in trouble, and all because he won't take his hat off for the king! But he has, hasn't he...? Find out what happens in this clever tale of magic and mayhem!

With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and…


Book cover of Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan

Nicki Cornwell Author Of Christophe's Story

From my list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two books that I read as a young child were very important to me. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss made me think about riches, poverty, and the power that rich people have to make stupid rules; and poor people have no choice but to obey them. The Japanese Twins from Lucy Fitch Perkins' series on twins from different cultures gave me a life-long interest in cultural differences. Not only did they think differently, depending on their culture, they also had different skin colours. Later I learned about racism when I worked with unhappy displaced children and interpreted for asylum-seekers. I write from a child's perspective, making books accessible to all ages.

Nicki's book list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war

Nicki Cornwell Why did Nicki love this book?

30,000 children some of whom were as young as six were orphaned and displaced from their homes when their villages were attacked in the Civil War. They met and banded together to trek across Sudan to Ethiopia and Kenya, looking for a new home. This was a journey of almost 1,000 miles. Thousands died on the way, but over 3,000 survived and many were resettled in America. I learned what can happen to children when their village is attacked and their parents killed. It's a fascinating story of perseverance and the importance of hope.

By Mary Williams, R. Gregory Christie (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brothers in Hope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor, American Library Association (ALA)
Notable Children's Book, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
Best Children's Books of the Year: Outstanding Merit, Bank Street College of Education
Notable Books for a Global Society, International Literacy Association (ILA)
Children's Book Award Notable, International Literacy Association (ILA)
Books Reflecting Diversity: - A Look Into a Wilder World, Bank Street College Children's Book Committee

Based on heartbreaking yet inspirational true events in the lives of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Brothers in Hope is a story of remarkable courage, and an amazing testament to the unyielding power…


Book cover of Catherine's War

Nicki Cornwell Author Of Christophe's Story

From my list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two books that I read as a young child were very important to me. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss made me think about riches, poverty, and the power that rich people have to make stupid rules; and poor people have no choice but to obey them. The Japanese Twins from Lucy Fitch Perkins' series on twins from different cultures gave me a life-long interest in cultural differences. Not only did they think differently, depending on their culture, they also had different skin colours. Later I learned about racism when I worked with unhappy displaced children and interpreted for asylum-seekers. I write from a child's perspective, making books accessible to all ages.

Nicki's book list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war

Nicki Cornwell Why did Nicki love this book?

I chose this story to illustrate the plight of Jewish people during the Nazi occupation in France. Catherine's War is based on the true story of a Jewish girl named Rachel Cohen who had to leave her boarding school near Paris and find somewhere safe to live. Rachel has to change her name to Catherine Colin and hide her Jewish identity in order to survive. She was sustained by her beautiful camera, which gave her a record of all that she had to through.

By Julia Billet, Claire Fauvel (illustrator), Ivanka Hahnenberger (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catherine's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

“A shining story of a young girl who struggles to come of age and find her place in a world fraught with danger.” —Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hitler Youth

* Winner of the Youth Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival (voted by readers) * Winner of the Artémisia Prize for Historical Fiction * Winner of the Andersen Premio Prize *

A magnificent narrative inspired by a true survival story that asks universal questions about a young girl’s coming of age story, her identity, her passions, and her first loves.

At the Sèvres Children’s Home outside Paris,…


Book cover of Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Sarah Deutsch Author Of Making a Modern U.S. West: The Contested Terrain of a Region and Its Borders, 1898-1940

From my list on reimagining our mythic American West and its cast.

Why am I passionate about this?

At some point I decided that if I was going to teach US history, I better have a good sense of what the place looked like. So I drove across the country—and then back again—and then again, and then once more, each time at a different latitude. I drove through North Dakota and South Dakota, Montana and Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, up and down California, Oregon and Washington, and on and on. I got addicted to seeing the landscape in all its amazing variety and vastness, and seeing the landscape made the histories come alive. 

Sarah's book list on reimagining our mythic American West and its cast

Sarah Deutsch Why did Sarah love this book?

Miroslava Chavez Garcia’s parents were tragically killed when she was very young. As an adult, already an accomplished historian, she came across a trunk in her uncle’s closet filled with their letters to each other. Using those letters, she builds a deeply personal history. Her story adds dimensions we usually cannot know about migration and the emotional bonds it strains and sustains.

By Miroslava Chávez-García,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Migrant Longing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing upon a personal collection of more than 300 letters exchanged between her parents and other family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chavez-Garcia recreates and gives meaning to the hope, fear, and longing migrants experienced in their everyday lives both ""here"" and ""there"" (aqui y alla). As private sources of communication hidden from public consumption and historical research, the letters provide a rare glimpse into the deeply emotional, personal, and social lives of ordinary Mexican men and women as recorded in their immediate, firsthand accounts. Chavez-Garcia demonstrates not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in…


Book cover of Citizen Illegal

Sidik Fofana Author Of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

From my list on poetry collections with the best sense of voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love hip hop. It’s basically poetry with a beat. I'm always thinking of literature in terms of rhythm and delivery. Creatively, my inspirations come from lyricists. I look at poets the same way. They accomplish wonderful feats with words. From years of listening to classic albums, I can feel the aliveness of a good verse. It’s also an element I try to tap into as a fiction writer. I'm a recipient of the 2023 Whiting Award and was also named an Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction in 2018. My work has appeared in the Sewanee Review and Granta. He is the author of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs. 

Sidik's book list on poetry collections with the best sense of voice

Sidik Fofana Why did Sidik love this book?

I first came across this poet at a conference in Tennessee. You know you're legit when even the fiction writers are like, you need to read this guy.

The poem “Mexican Heaven” is about what heaven would be like if it were inhabited by all Mexicans. It’s hilarious and wise. He has this other poem about being disciplined by his dad, which captures the immigrant experience–how your dad beats you, but in the punishment is a strange form of love.

Olivarez is nice with it. His poems have rhythm and prowess, but they are also palatable in a way that doesn't sacrifice craft.

By Jose Olivarez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Citizen Illegal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this stunning debut, poet Jose Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Combining wry humour with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender,class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. Olivarez has a unique voice that makes him a poet to watch.


Book cover of America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States

Laura Hooton, Paul Spickard, and Francisco Beltrán Author Of Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity

From my list on the history of race, ethnicity, and colonialism in the US.

Why are we passionate about this?

Paul Spickard wrote the first edition of Almost All Aliens. He invited Francisco Beltrán and Laura Hooton, who worked under Dr. Spickard at UC Santa Barbara, to co-author the second edition after working as research assistants and providing suggestions for the second edition. We are all historians of race, ethnicity, immigration, colonialism, and identity, and in our other works and teaching we each think about these topics in different ways. We did the same for this list—this is a list of five books that talk about topics that are important to Almost All Aliens and approaches that have been influential in how we think about the topic.  

Laura, Paul, and Francisco's book list on the history of race, ethnicity, and colonialism in the US

Laura Hooton, Paul Spickard, and Francisco Beltrán Why did Laura, Paul, and Francisco love this book?

This book offers a great introduction to readers on the connection between race and immigration in the United States. Erika Lee shows how race has shaped understandings of identity, citizenship, and belonging from the colonial era to the present. She argues there is an often racialized definition of America and Americanness, which has led to the marginalization and exclusion of immigrants from all corners of the globe throughout United States history.

By Erika Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked America for Americans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This definitive history of American xenophobia is "essential reading for anyone who wants to build a more inclusive society" (Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times-bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist).

The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In America for Americans, Erika Lee shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their "strange and foreign ways." Americans' anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into…


Book cover of Wretched Refuse?: The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions

Ilya Somin Author Of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom

From my list on migration rights and democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at George Mason University. He is the author of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom, Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter, and The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London, and the Limits of Eminent Domain. Somin has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Atlantic, and USA Today. He is a regular contributor to the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, affiliated with Reason.

Ilya's book list on migration rights and democracy

Ilya Somin Why did Ilya love this book?

Perhaps the strongest argument against expanded migration rights is the fear that too many of the “wrong” kind of immigrants might kill the goose the laid the golden egg that makes a country attractive to migrants in the first place. If immigrants have harmful cultural values, vote for dangerous political leaders, or otherwise undermine the political and economic system, they could degrade the host nation’s institutions. In the extreme case, they might even replicate the same awful conditions that led them to flee their country of origin. Wretched Refuse is the most thorough analysis and refutation of such concerns. Nowrasteh and Powell use both historical and modern evidence to show that institutional concerns about immigration are largely misplaced and that migrants strengthen liberal democracy far more than they undermine it.

By Alex Nowrasteh, Benjamin Powell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wretched Refuse? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Economic arguments favoring increased immigration restrictions suggest that immigrants undermine the culture, institutions, and productivity of destination countries. But is this actually true? Nowrasteh and Powell systematically analyze cross-country evidence of potential negative effects caused by immigration relating to economic freedom, corruption, culture, and terrorism. They analyze case studies of mass immigration to the United States, Israel, and Jordan. Their evidence does not support the idea that immigration destroys the institutions responsible for prosperity in the modern world. This nonideological volume makes a qualified case for free immigration and the accompanying prosperity.


Book cover of Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island

Kathleen Boston McCune Author Of Assignment Love: The Writer and Her Agent

From my list on when needing excitement or the comfort of a caress.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a woman of four and seventy years who thankfully doesn’t yet resemble that person to those who haven’t met me. I'm a mother of two who both have their own businesses in the fields of their natural talents, I've been Deputy Treasurer to the State of Kansas, written 22 books but think younger than I did at 20, and am enjoying the best sex life to date! Life is precious and should not be limited to us based on our age, but on our interests, knowledge, and what we have to offer. Writing about that which I've experienced and the recorded history of family are my passions and hopefully for my readers as well.

Kathleen's book list on when needing excitement or the comfort of a caress

Kathleen Boston McCune Why did Kathleen love this book?

I personally enjoyed this book for the courage found by the Heroine in a world where women were considered 2nd class citizens, but she, through strength of character and love of a sister she loses due to illness and no monies to save her, gives her that impetus to forge ahead through unconventional, but effective ways and new friends of wealth in America. It could be called a Cinderella story with illegal immigrants as heroines.

A book of 1902, about a young woman who had been abused by her father to the point that a nun suggested she find refuge elsewhere. From Italy, she proceeds to save enough money to book passage with a ship for both herself and her younger sister who is already ill from similar abuse. She looks forward to Ellis Island, knowing she then will be on the safe harbor of America, until she learns that…

By Heather Webb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Next Ship Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: "Give me your tired, your poor ... your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."
A young Italian woman arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life. That same day, a young American woman reports to her first day of work at the immigration center. But Ellis Island isn't a refuge for Francesca or Alma, not when ships depart every day with those who are refused entry to the country and when corruption ripples through every corridor. While Francesca resorts to desperate measures…


Book cover of Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing

Seth Mallios Author Of The Deadly Politics of Giving: Exchange and Violence at Ajacan, Roanoke, and Jamestown

From my list on alternate perspectives on Jamestown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was Site Supervisor at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project in the late 1990s and early 2000s. My fondness for the people involved with the archaeological excavations is only rivaled by my love for the subject matter that involves the collision of cultures as Chesapeake Algonquians, Spanish Jesuits, and English colonists first encountered one another during the 16th and 17th centuries. Though I have been fortunate to write many books, my first book was on Jamestown, and this topic will always hold a special place in my scholarly heart (there is such a thing, I swear!).

Seth's book list on alternate perspectives on Jamestown

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Ilan Stavans’s edited volume, Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing demonstrates how immigration is central to the origin story of the United States. In compiling selections from over 400 years of first-generation immigrant accounts, Stavans is able to shed light on the immigration experience—starting at Jamestown—from the perspective of the immigrant, as opposed to those already living in the destination country.

By Ilan Stavans (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Americans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Immigration is the essential American story. From London or Lvov, Bombay or Beijing, Dublin or Dusseldorf, people have come to America to remake themselves, their lives, and their identities. Despite political obstacles, popular indifference, or hostility, they put down roots here, and their social, cultural, and entrepreneurial energies helped forge the open and diverse society we live in. The history of American immigration has often been told by those already here. Becoming Americans tells this epic story from the inside, gathering for the first time over 400 years of writing—from seventeenth-century Jamestown to contemporary Brooklyn and Los Angeles—by first-generation immigrants…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in immigrants, Mexican Americans, and Mexico?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about immigrants, Mexican Americans, and Mexico.

Immigrants 174 books
Mexico 217 books