Suggested Reading for Our "Journey Stories" Programs

The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America's great migration

Isabel Wilkerson.

African American, Travel, Nonfiction

One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year. In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson co...


Heaven is high

Kate Wilhelm.

Mystery, Thriller

Barbara Holloway is a low-key attorney in Eugene, Oregon who left her father’s high powered firm to handle small legal problems for local residents and ponder her own next move. But while trying to sort out her own future, two people, desperate for help, show up on her doorstep: former pro football player Martin Owens and his wife Binnie. Binnie, who is mute, met her husband when she snuck aboard his boat while it was docked in Haiti and smuggl...


Across a hundred mountains : a novel

Reyna Grande.

Multicultural Fiction

Across a Hundred Mountainsis a stunning and poignant story of migration, loss, and discovery as two women -- one born in Mexico, one in the United States -- find their lives joined in the most unlikely way.After a tragedy separates her from her mother, Juana García leaves her small town in Mexico to find her father, who left his home and family two years before to find work in America,el otro lado, and rise above the oppressive poverty so many o...


Bridge to America : based on a true story

Linda Glaser.

Multicultural Fiction

The year is 1920 and the setting is a shtetl, a small village in northern Poland, where Fivel and his family live in fear of the ruthless Cossacks and unpredictable pogroms. As he and his mother, brother, and sisters struggle to stay alive, nine-year-old Fivel is hungry, is cold, is a rascal, is goodhearted, longs for his father, and is afraid for their lives. Will the money from America ever come? Has their father forgotten about them, perhaps e...


Brother, I'm dying

Edwige Danticat.

Nonfiction, African American

From the best-selling author of The Dew Breaker, a major work of nonfiction: a powerfully moving family story that centers around the men closest to her heart--her father, Mira, and his older brother, Joseph. From the age of four, Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph, a charismatic pastor, as her "second father," when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for a better life in America. Listening to his sermons, shar...


Silent movie

Avi, the author ; C.B. Mordan, the illustrator.

Multicultural Fiction

Black-and-white images follow one after another. The story of an immigrant family alone in a big city. Close-ups of a mother, a son -- faces filled with heartache and joy. Plenty of action. Excitement. Melodrama. A Silent Movie.


A house of tailors

Patricia Reilly Giff.

Multicultural Fiction

SEWING! NO ONE could hate it more than Dina Kirk. Endless tiny stitches, button holes, darts. Since she was tiny, she's worked in her family's dressmaking business, where the sewing machine is a cranky member of the family. When 13-year-old Dina leaves her small town in Germany to join her uncle's family in Brooklyn, she turns her back on sewing. Never again! But looking for a job leads her right back to the sewing machine. Why did she ever leave...


First crossing : stories about teen immigrants

edited by Donald R. Gallo.

Multicultural Fiction

Ten unforgettable short stories -- written by award-winning authors for young adults -- reflect the stunning diversity of experience among teenagers from many countries who make the United States their new home. It's hard enough to be a teenager, trying to fit in, trying to get along with your parents, trying to figure out how the world works. Being from a different culture makes everything that much harder. Fleeing from political violence in Ven...


Shooting Kabul

N.H. Senzai.

Multicultural Fiction

In the summer of 2001, twelve year old Fadi's parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move the family to the United States. When their underground transport arrives at the rendezvous point, chaos ensues, and Fadi is left dragging his younger sister Mariam through the crush of people. But Mariam accidentally lets go of his hand and becomes lost in the crowd, just as Fadi is snatched up into the truck. With Taliban so...


My name is Yoon

Helen Recorvits ; pictures by Gabi Swiatkowska.

Multicultural Fiction

Getting to feel at home in a new country Yoon's name means Shining Wisdom, and when she writes it in Korean, it looks happy, like dancing figures. But her father tells her that she must learn to write it in English. In English, all the lines and circles stand alone, which is just how Yoon feels in the United States. Yoon isn't sure that she wants to be YOON. At her new school, she tries out different names - maybe CAT or BIRD. Maybe CUPCAKE! Hele...


Drita, my homegirl

by Jenny Lombard.

Multicultural Fiction

When ten-year-old Drita and her family, refugees from Kosovo, move to New York, Drita is teased about not speaking English well, but after a popular student named Maxine is forced to learn about Kosovo as a punishment for teasing Drita, the two girls soon bond.


The braid

Helen Frost.

Historical Fiction

Two sisters, Jeannie and Sarah, tell their separate yet tightly interwoven stories in alternating narrative poems. Each sister - Jeannie, who leaves Scotland during the Highland Clearances with her father, mother, and the younger children, and Sarah, who hides so she can stay behind with her grandmother - carries a length of the other's hair braided with her own. The braid binds them together when they are worlds apart and reminds them of who the...



The arrival

Shaun Tan.

Graphic Novels, Multicultural Fiction

A truly remarkable work of art that is already one of the most talked-about book of the season. "A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay." -- Jeff Smith, author of Bone "A magical river of strangers and their stories!" -- Craig...