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The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

By Dinaw Mengestu

Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent. Years ago and worlds away Sepha could never have imagined a life of such isolation.

The Red Pencil

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

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.

A Long Walk to Water

By Linda Sue Park

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.

Children of the River

By Linda Crew

Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt’s family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child. Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be “a good Cambodian girl” at home. A good Cambodian girl never dates; she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy. Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other.