Download our new Recommended Reading List for Middle School Students. These selections enable middle schoolers to learn about different religious and non-religious belief systems.
Tanenbaum staff are always available to help you find additional resources or to answer questions – we also welcome your suggestions for additions to our reading lists. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Browse our middle school reading list for immigration-related reading, and check back as we add more topics. Click on the title of any book to purchase it at amazon.com.
, Mary Jane Auch
Rose Nolan arrives at Ellis Island with her family in the early 1900s and finds out right away that her sick brother must return to Ireland. After moving in with an Uncle she dislikes and starting to work in a sweatshop, Rose becomes friends with some union organizers and begins to enjoy New York.
, Elvira Woodruff
Dominic has spent most of his life in foster care. During a field trip to Ellis Island, he
is embarrassed when a guide asks his class to talk about their families. He hides in a closet and falls asleep, and wakes to find himself on a journey from Italy to the U.S.
, Diana Abu-Jaber
The two grown daughters of Matussem Ramoud, an Arab-American immigrant, daytime hospital maintenance man and nighttime jazz musician work through the pressures of work, relationships and loss.
, Julia Alvarez
The four de la Torre daughters flee the Dominican Republic because of political persecution and work to assimilate in their new home. A is also available.
, Sandra Cisneros
Esperanza’s life in a Spanish-speaking area of Chicago is described in a series of spare, poignant and powerful vignettes, each centered on a detail of her childhood.
, Edwidge Danticat
A Haitian-American girl shares her experience of moving from Haiti to New York City.
, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
A collection of stories about young girls and women who have come to the United States from India.
, Cristina Garcia
Three generations of Cuban and Cuban-American Women seek a spiritual home as their families journey to the U.S.
, Mary Gardner
An award-winning novel describing the difficulties and culture clashes faced by a group of Vietnamese refugees living in Galveston, Texas.
, ed. Maria M. Gillan & Jennifer Gillan
A collection of stories from celebrated writers – including Tony Morrison and Amy Tan – about the conflicts crossing borders and becoming American.
, Jessica Hagedorn
The story of Rocky Rivera, who emigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. with
her mother and emotionally disturbed brother, and her adolescence in 1970s San Fransisco.
, Oscar Hijuelos
Lydia España moves through life, from pampered daughter of a wealthy Cuban family to struggling immigrant seamstress to widowed cleaning woman in Harlem.
, Jen Gish
Foreign students trapped in New York when the Communists assume control of China
in 1948 band together to try and achieve the American dream while retaining their Chinese values.
, Maxine Hong Kingston
A pungent, bitter, but beautifully written memoir of growing up Chinese American in Stockton, California. Kingston distills the dire lessons of her mother’s mesmerizing “talk-story” tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upward.
, Chitra Divakaruni
Tilo, trained as a mistress of spices, uses the magical properties of the spices of her homeland to help her customers, first- and second-generation immigrants, adapt the Old World ideals to their New World.
, Wendy Law-Yone
A Burmese woman and her brother migrate to America as political refugees.
, Chang-rae Lee
Korean-American Henry Park is forever uncertain of his place, a perpetual outsider looking at American culture from a distance. As a man of two worlds, he is beginning to fear that he has betrayed both and belongs to neither.
, Bharati Mukherjee
The odyssey and metamorphasis of a young immigrant from rural India who creates her own version of the American dream.
, Kirin Narayan
A young Hindu woman educated at a convent school is amazed at life on the campus
of Berkeley and struggles to fulfill a destiny predicted for her in India.
, Sigrid Nunez
A young women of mixed race writes about life with her parents, a workaholic Chinese-Panamanian and a self-dramatizing German, and her struggle to become her own woman.
, Achy Obejas
Short stories about Cuban lesbian immigrants.
, ed. The Woman of South Asian Descent Collective
Stories, poems and essays.
, Amy Tan
The stories of four Chinese women and their hardships and the American-born daughters who struggle to reconcile their American values with their mothers’ expectations.
, Ann Marie Mershon
A moving account of the trials and tribulations of a Scandinavian family’s emigration
to the U.S. in 1904.
, Alwyn Evans
After a terrifying journey from warn-torn Afghanistan, Gulnessa and her family find their struggles are not over as they struggle to make lives for themselves in Australia.
, Michele Marineau
Karin journeys from Beirut to a new high school in Quebec and must create a new life for himself in a land not defined by war.
Find more recommendations at the American Library Association’sproject.