Brothers in Hope

Brothers in Hope is the story, told in first person, of eight-year-old Garag, who escapes Sudan by walking through Ethiopia and Kenya, eventually getting to the US. This book deals with a tough subject in a delicate but honest way.


Dreamers is a beautifully illustrated story about a woman who leaves her home in Mexico to travel to the US with her son. It explores what she brings with her—not objects, but her strength, work ethic, hopes, and dreams. This story about family and community will set the stage for a deep conversation.

My Two Blankets

My Two Blankets tells the story of a refugee from Africa and how she makes a new friend by sharing her language, one word at a time. This story about the refugee resettlement experience also has themes about friendship and dealing with change.

The Bamboo People

Tu Reh, a Karenni boy, has witnessed the destruction of his family’s home and bamboo fields by Burmese soldiers. Chiko is a Burmese boy who loves books and has no interest in combat. The boys’ lives intersect when Chiko, forced to become a soldier, is injured and Tu Reh discovers him. Perkins’s delicately told story of the enduring power of compassion is thoughtful and satisfying. A helpful Discussion and Activity Guide and Book Club Guide are available from the publisher.

A Long Walk to Water

Salva Dut led a group of over 100 boys on a harrowing journey through danger, sickness, and starvation from war-torn South Sudan to a refugee camp in Kenya. He was then relocated to the United States, where he got a college degree and went on to found Water for South Sudan, an organization that provides deep water wells in South Sudan. The bestselling A Long Walk to Water, based on Mr. Dut’s experience, has inspired children around the world to make a difference in their communities and beyond.

The Red Pencil

Children’s literature powerhouse Andrea Davis Pinkney uses verse to tell Amira’s tale of loss, hardship, and ultimately hope. Pinkney notably offers a detailed picture of Amira’s rich home life and environment in Sudan before it is destroyed by war, and readers will celebrate when a silent Amira is offered the gift of literacy that reminds her that her voice matters and has enormous power.

Inside Out and Back Again

Lai’s bestselling Newbery Honor book, written in short free verse, powerfully captures the alienation felt by a child forced into a new and often unwelcoming world. As 10-year-old Ha tries to adjust to life in Alabama, where she is bullied by her peers and befriended by a teacher who has some understanding of her experiences back in Vietnam, readers can empathize with Ha and all of those who are considered “foreigners” in this story of strength and resilience.

Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey of Freedom

Since the war in Vietnam, Hmong people have created exquisitely embroidered “story cloths” that tell stories of their history and culture. Gorgeous embroidered cloth scenes, stitched by Dia Cha’s aunt and uncle, illustrate this story that’s based on the author’s real-life journey with her family from China to four years in a refugee camp in Thailand, then to the United States. A teacher’s guide and lesson plan provide some context for readers unfamiliar with Hmong history and culture.

Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey

Lost and Found Cat follows an Iraqi family’s escape from Mosul — by car, by foot, and by boat — all with their beloved pet, Kunkush, in tow … until Kunkush escapes his carrier. The family is heartbroken, but Kunkush fortunately ends up in the hands of Amy, a woman volunteering with refugees in Greece, who grows determined to reunite the cat with his original family. This moving true story will inspire discussions with young readers about what it means to be a refugee, the unexpected consequences of being displaced, and the importance of kindness.

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

In this award-winning book, Oskar escapes the Kristallnacht pogrom, or “Night of Broken Glass,” in Nazi Germany and arrives in Manhattan on the seventh day of Hanukkah (and Christmas Eve) with only a photograph and the address of an aunt he doesn’t know. “The city was terribly big, Oskar was terribly small, and Broadway stretched before him like a river.” As he makes a solitary walk from downtown to uptown, he experiences the excitement of bustling New York City and small acts of kindness from strangers along the way, pointing toward a new life of hope.