Starting Over in Sunset Park

English & Spanish 4-8 years Immigration Single-Parent Family New Beginnings NYC Animals Cat-sitting José Pelaez, Lynn McGee, & Bianca Diaz summary Our story opens with a young girl and her mother arriving to NYC from the Dominican Republic, ready to begin a new life for themselves. Initially staying with relatives, the pair is looking forward…

Yang Warriors

English & some Hmong 6-10 Hmong Culture Own Voices Refugee Experience Family Lived Experiences Social-Emotional Learning Kao Kalia Yang & Billy Thao summary Yang Warriors is a beautiful story that is one of the first books I’ve read that’s entirely Own Voices, with both a Hmong author and Hmong-American illustrator. The book takes place in…

Salma the Syrian Chef

English & Arabic 4-8 years Immigration Refugee Stories Community Chosen Family Cooking Danny Ramadan & Anna Bron Summary: For #TheFictionFeast this month, I wanted to highlight a book that hits a lot of important details that I look for in a story. Main character Salma from Salma the Syrian Chef looks to a mixed refugee…

Like a Dandelion

English 4-8 years Own Voices Cambodian-American Creator Refugee Experiences Immigration Joy Mindfulness Huy Voun Lee summary Like a Dandelion is such a sweet book, and follows a young child as she moves with her mother to a new place. Using the metaphor of a dandelion’s life cycle, the pair take root in a new place…

Made in Korea

English & Korean YA Korean-American Identity Small Business Family Responsibility Social-Emotional Learning Relationships Sarah Suk summary Valerie Kwon and her cousin Charlie run an incredibly successful student business selling Korean beauty products. Valerie is desperate to prove to her family that she’s just as capable and business-savvy as her older sister, and take her grandmother…

Finding Junie Kim

English & Korean MG & Up Korean War Family History Korean-American Experience Racism Friendship Activism Own Voices SEL Immigration War Communism CW: Violent death of a pregnant woman Ellen Oh Cover Art: Alex Cho summary I’ll be real with you, I didn’t expect this book to rip my heart out in the way that it…

Escape: One Day We Had to Run

English 5 years & up Refugee Experiences Immigration Lived Experiences Social-Emotional Learning Ming & Wah Chen, Carmen Vela summary I had the opportunity to do the cover reveal for this book, and I’m so excited that it’s out in the world now! For #SweetsAndSocialJustice I found a recipe that put a new spin on one…

While I Was Away

English & Japanese MG & Up Asian-American Experience Japanese-American Own Voices Growing Up Family Language Learning SEL Waka T. Brown summary Waka is a Japanese-American sixth grader in rural Kansas in the 1980’s. At home, her family speaks Japanese almost exclusively, but Waka is behind in reading and writing in kanji. After a few incidents…

America My Love, America My Heart

english 4-8 years Patriotism Society Culture Racism Social-Emotional Learning Poetry Daria Peoples-Riley summary I have a lot of complicated feelings about America. I have complicated feelings about benefiting from a history of colonization and global imperialism, and a feeling of responsibility to in some small way dismantle the systemic oppression that built this land into…

Latinitas

English & Spanish MG & Up english Juliet Menéndez summary I couldn’t let Women’s History Month end without featuring this incredible book! First of all, how gorgeous is this cover? I’m kind of obsessed with the limited color palette and over the moon to see how many countries are represented (helpfully with flags by the…