Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Basket of Picture Books to Invite Exploration of Refugee and Immigrant Experiences

We are reading aloud Refugee by Alan Gratz in our classroom right now. There is so much about this book that makes it an incredible read aloud for 5th graders.  For some students this is the first historical fiction book they've read. And many are unfamiliar with some of the time historical periods and issues in the book. There has been lots of great conversation with lots of questions as the stories in the book unfold. This week I put together a basket of books for students who wanted to read more or think more about refugee and immigrant experiences. I believe that it takes both fiction and nonfiction when trying to understand an issue so this basket is a combination of both. I also think that there are some books that are about many things but that help us think about these real-world issues. The basket will grow-and we'll include video and digital resources as well-- as the year goes on but these are the first books we've included.

Stormy Seas by Mary Beth Leatherdale

Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers

Where Will I Live by Rosemary McCarney

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

My Two Blankets by Irene Kobald

I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Shelter by Celine Claire

A Refugee's Journey from Syria (and a few others from this series)


  1. Thank you for the suggestions. I am beginning to work with a third grade teacher as we think about how to help our students understand and honor those who are different from themselves and to be respectful and accepting of others without judgement. I am off to reserve all of the books that I don't already have access to. There are some new titles for me here.

  2. Thank you for sharing these resources, Franki!


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