Immigrant Experience Booklist

People come from many different places, but we all have a story to share, and something to learn from one another. Check out these books, to learn more about the immigrant experience and join us in celebrating Immigration Awareness month this June.


Updated April 7, 2023
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The good immigrant : 26 writers reflect on America
Shukla, Nikesh
By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, troubling and uplifting, these "electric" essays come together to create a provocative, conversation-sparking, multivocal portrait of modern America (The Washington Post). From Trump's proposed border wall...
The Best We Could Do An Illustrated Memoir
Bui, Thi.
The national bestseller and American Book Award Winner, The Best We Could Do, is an intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.   2017 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Finalist

eBook

The Undocumented Americans
Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. "Karla's book sheds light on people's personal...

eBook

The poet X
Acevedo, Elizabeth
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award...
The Undocumented Americans
Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. "Karla's book sheds light on people's personal...

eAudiobook

One mighty and irresistible tide : the epic struggle over American immigration, 1924-1965
Yang, Jia Lynn
The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is at the core of the American narrative. But in 1924, Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing arrivals from southern and eastern Europe and outright...
One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 1924-1965
Yang, Jia Lynn
The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is at the core of the American narrative. But in 1924, Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing arrivals from southern and eastern Europe and outright...

eBook

The undocumented Americans
Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. "Karla's book sheds light on people's personal...
Little failure : a memoir
Shteyngart, Gary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME NAMED ONE OF THE BEST...
Exit west : a novel
Hamid, Mohsin
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE & WINNER OF THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE "It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future... At once terrifying and ... oddly...
Little failure : a memoir
Shteyngart, Gary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME NAMED ONE OF THE BEST...

eBook

Last night at the Telegraph Club
Lo, Malinda
Winner of the National Book Award A New York Times Bestseller "The queer romance we've been waiting for."--Ms. Magazine Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root--that desire to look, to move closer, to touch....
Little failure : a memoir
Shteyngart, Gary
After three acclaimed novels-- The Russian Debutante' s Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story-- Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far. Shteyngart shares his American immigrant experience, moving back and forth through time and...

eAudiobook

Fairest A Memoir
Talusan, Meredith.
Finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction   "Talusan sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs." --The New York Times Book Review "A ball of light hurled into the dark undertow of migration and survival."...

eBook

Americanah
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A modern classic about star-crossed lovers that explores questions of race and being Black in America--and the search for what it means to call a place home. * From the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Half of a Yellow...

eBook

Fairest : a memoir
Talusan, Meredith
Fairest is a memoir about a precocious boy with albinism from a rural Philippine village who would grow up to become a woman in America.

Large Print

A dream called home : a memoir
Grande, Reyna
"The emotional and practical challenges for a young immigrant are on full display in Grande's evocative, inspiring memoir." --People From bestselling author Reyna Grande--whose remarkable memoir The Distance Between Us has become required reading in...
La bu?squeda de un suen?o : una autobiografi?a
Grande, Reyna
La extraordinaria historia de Reyna Grande--que comenzó en su exitosa autobiografía La distancia entre nosotros--continúa ahora en esta fabulosa travesía para encontrar su lugar en los Estados Unidos como universitaria latina de primera generación y como escritora. Reyna...

en español

Call me American : a memoir
Iftin, Abdi Nor
Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the...
Call me American : a memoir
Iftin, Abdi Nor
Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the...

Large Print

The best we could do : an illustrated memoir
Bui, Thi
A national bestseller and American Book Award winner, The Best We Could Do is an intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam from debut author Thi Bui.   In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist...
Exit west
Hamid, Mohsin
A New York Times BestsellerWinner of The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for FictionWinner of The Aspen Words Literary PrizeIn a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet -- sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair,...

Large Print

Exit West A Novel
Hamid, Mohsin.
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE & WINNER OF THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE "It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future... At once terrifying and ... oddly...

eBook

Exit West A Novel
Hamid, Mohsin.
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE & WINNER OF THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE "It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future... At once terrifying and ... oddly...

eAudiobook

Americanah : a novel
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A modern classic about star-crossed lovers that explores questions of race and being Black in America--and the search for what it means to call a place home. * From the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Half of a Yellow...
Greenland : a novel
Santos Donaldson, David
Shortlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction  A dazzling, debut novel-within-a-novel in the vein of The Prophets and Memorial, about a young author writing about the secret love affair between E.M. Forster and Mohammed el Adl--in which...
Mother country : a novel
Reyn, Irina
Starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Award-winning author Irina Reyn explores what it means to be a mother in a world where you can't be with your child Nadia's daily life in south Brooklyn is filled with small indignities...
Fairest : a memoir
Talusan, Meredith
Finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction   "Talusan sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs." --The New York Times Book Review "A ball of light hurled into the dark undertow of migration and survival." --Ocean...
American Street
Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews and multiple awards! A New York Times Notable Book * A Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All Time* Publishers Weekly Flying Start * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * ALA ...
The poet X
Acevedo, Elizabeth

Audiobook

The Poet X
Acevedo, Elizabeth.
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award...

eBook

The Poet X
Acevedo, Elizabeth.
Don't miss this acclaimed audiobook, read by the author--winner of an Odyssey Honor and an AudioFile Earphones Award winner! The Poet X is also the winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award. Fans...

eAudiobook

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Lo, Malinda.
Winner of the National Book Award A New York Times Bestseller "The queer romance we've been waiting for."--Ms. Magazine Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root--that desire to look, to move closer, to touch....

eBook

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Lo, Malinda.
Acclaimed author of Ash Malinda Lo returns with her most personal and ambitious novel yet, a gripping story of love and duty set in San Francisco's Chinatown during the 1950s. "That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other." And then...

eAudiobook

WHEN THE ANGELS LEFT THE OLD COUNTRY
Lamb, Sacha
Stonewall Book Award Winner Sydney Taylor Award Winner Michael L. Printz Honor Book National Jewish Book Award Finalist AudioFile Earphones Award Winner BEST OF THE YEAR NPR · New York...
Americanized : rebel without a green card
Saedi, Sara
In development as a television series from Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine production company and ABC Studios! This hilarious, poignant and true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East is an increasingly...
Americanized Rebel Without a Green Card
Saedi, Sara.
In development as a television series from Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine production company and ABC Studios! This hilarious, poignant and true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East is an increasingly...

eBook

The Street
Petry, Ann.
WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION FROM NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR TAYARI JONES "How can a novel's social criticism be so unflinching and clear, yet its plot moves like a house on fire? I am tempted to describe Petry as a magician for the many ways that The Street amazes, but...
Someone like me : how one undocumented girl fought for her American dream
Arce, Julissa
A remarkable true story from social justice advocate and national bestselling author Julissa Arce about her journey to belong in America while growing up undocumented in Texas. Born in the picturesque town of Taxco, Mexico, Julissa Arce was left behind for months at a time with...
Come on in : 15 stories about immigration and finding home
Alsaid, Adi
This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by critically acclaimed and bestselling YA authors who are shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home--and to find home. WELCOME From...

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