Historical Fiction: Immigration to the U.S.


[Part of an ongoing series of historical fiction book lists for students and teachers. For the full list and to see more info, click here.]

Lower Grades

  1. A Gift for Gita-Gilmore (2.8/0.5)
  2. All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel-Yaccarino (4.2/0.5) (Ellis Island)
  3. The American Wei-Pomeranc (2.7/0.5)
  4. An Mei’s Strange and Wondrous Journey-Molnar-Fenton (3.8/0.5)
  5. At Ellis Island: A History of Many Voices-Peacock (4.0/1)
  6. Brothers-Yin (3.1/0.5)
  7. Candy Shop-Wahl (2.5/0.5)
  8. The Castle on Hester Street-Heller (3.6/0.5)
  9. Cooper’s Lesson-Shin (3.9/0.5)
  10. Courage to Fly-Harrison (3.6/0.5)
  11. Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty-Glaser (5.5/0.5) (1883)
  12. Goldfish and Chrysanthemums-Cheng (3.2/0.5)
  13. Grandfather’s Journey-Say (3.6/0.5)
  14. Grandfather’s Story Cloth-Gerdner (3.4/0.5)
  15. Hannah Is My Name-Yang (4.2/0.5)
  16. The House on Maple Street-Pryor (3.8/0.5)
  17. I Hate English!-Levine (2.7/0.5)
  18. Landed-Lee (4.9/1)
  19. The Long Way Westward-Sandin (2.9/0.5)
  20. The Memory Coat-Woodruff (4.8/0.5) (Russia, Ellis Island)
  21. Meow Means Mischief-Nagda (3.3/2)
  22. My Chinatown: One Year in Poems-Mak (3.8/0.5)
  23. My Dadima Wears a Sari-Sheth (3.5/0.5)
  24. My Diary from Here to There-Perez (4.0/0.5)
  25. My Feet Are Laughing-Norman (4.0/0.5)
  26. My Name Is Yoon-Recorvits (2.3/0.5)
  27. The Name Jar-Choi (3.1/0.5) (Korea)
  28. Oranges on Golden Mountain-Partridge (4.7/0.5)
  29. Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America-James (3.6/0.5)
  30. Phan’s Diary-Schofield (3.3/0.5)
  31. A Piece of Home-Levitin (2.8/0.5)
  32. A Place to Grow-Pak (3.1/0.5)
  33. Shu-Li and Tamara-Yee (3.4/1) (China to Canada)
  34. Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O’Hara-Woodruff (4.6/0.5)
  35. Watch the Stars Come Out-Levinson (2.6/0.5)

 Middle Grades (4-8)

  1. Baseball in April and Other Stories-Soto (5.1/4)
  2. Call Me Ruth-Sachs (5.1/5) (1908)
  3. Chantrea Conway’s Story: A Voyage from Cambodia in 1975-Pastore (4.3/6)
  4. Cherub in Stone-Gonzalez (4.9/4) (year 1932)
  5. Chicken Foot Farm-Estevis (5.1/6) (Mexican American life 1930’s Texas)
  6. Children of the River-Crew (4.3/8)
  7. A Coal Miner’s Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska-Bartoletti (5.5/6)
  8. A Different Kind of Hero-Blakeslee (4.4/5)
  9. The Dragon’s Child: A Story of Angel Island-Yep (4.4/4)
  10. Dragons of Silk-Yep (5.7/11)
  11. A Dream Come True: Coming to America from Vietnam-1975-Cosson (2.9/1)
  12. Dreams in the Golden Country:  The Diary of Zipporah Feldman-Lasky* (4.5/4)
  13. Escape to Freedom: Coming to America From Cuba-1961 – Cosson (3.0/1)
  14. The Escape from Home-Avi (4.7/13)
  15. Esperanza Rising-Ryan* (5.3/6)
  16. Fiona McGilray’s Story: A Voyage from Ireland in 1849-Pastore (4.2/5)
  17. Flight to Freedom– Veciana-Suarez* (5.6/6) (1967)
  18. Forbidden Friendship-Weber(4.1/2) (1870’s New England)
  19. Good Fortune: My Journey to Gold Mountain-Wong (4.5/4) Nonfiction
  20. Hanna, the Immigrant-Hart (5.1/5)
  21. Hannah’s Journal-Moss (4.7/1.0)*
  22. Heart of a Samurai-Preus (5.4/8)
  23. Home of the Brave-Applegate (3.5/3) (African refugee)
  24. How I Became an American-Gundisch/Skofield (5.9/4) (1902)
  25. In America’s Shadow-Komatsu (4.9/0.5)
  26. In My Family-Lomas Garza (4.7/0.5)
  27. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson-Lord* (4.6/4)
  28. Inside Out & Back Again-Lai (4.8/2)
  29. The Iron Dragon: The Courageous Story of Lee Chin-Pryor (4.9/5)
  30. A Jar of Dreams-Uchida (5.0/4) (Depression, Japanese-American)
  31. The Journal of Otto Peltonen a Finnish Immigrant-Durbin* (6.0/4) (1905)
  32. The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner-Yep* (4.8/6)
  33. The Journey of Yung Lee-McCoy-Miller (5.4/6)
  34. The Journey of Emilie-Hoehne (4.4/5) (Wisconsin)
  35. Journey to America-Levitin (4.7/5)
  36. Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain: An Angel Island Story-Currier (5.0/1) (1934)
  37. Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Elizabeth Rodgers, an English Girl in Minnesota-Bauer (5.9/7) (year 1873)
  38. Land of Promise-Tedrow (4.3/7) (Missouri)
  39. Little Cricket-Brown (6.0/7) (1970’s Minnesota)
  40. Lord Kirkle’s Money-Avi (4.7/16)
  41. Maggie’s Door-Giff (5.0/5)
  42. Mei Fuh: Memories from China-Schaeffer (5.2/2)
  43. Music for Alice-Say (4.0/0.5)
  44. My American Dream-Gallegos (4.0/0.5)
  45. My Name Is Aram-Saroyan (not listed in AR)
  46. The Orphan of Ellis Island-Woodruff (4.9/5) (1908, Italy)
  47. Pacific Odyssey to California, 1905-Lawlor (4.4/6)
  48. Paper Daughter-Ingold (5.3/8)
  49. A Place for Joey-Harris (3.7/2)
  50. The Puzzle of the Paper Daughter: A Julie Mystery-Reiss (5.0/4)
  51. Priya’s Project: Coming to America from India-1986-Cosson (3.2/1)
  52. Shannon: A Chinatown Adventure-Kudlinski (3.7/1)
  53. Shannon: The Schoolmarm Mysteries-Kudlinski (3.9/2)
  54. The Sunita Experiment (or The Not-So-Star Spangled Life of Sunita Sen)-Perkins
  55. She Flew No Flags-Manley (5.5/9) (1944)
  56. Shooting Kabul-Senzai (5.4/7.0) (Afghanistan, 2001)
  57. So Far From Home:  The Diary of Mary Driscoll-Denenberg* (4.4/3)
  58. Tales from Gold Mountain-Yee (5.2/2)
  59. Tangled Threads: A Hmong Girl’s Story-Shea (4.4/7)
  60. The Tequila Worm-Canales (4.6/6)
  61. The Trouble Begins-Himelblau (3.6/7)
  62. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle-Avi* (5.3/8) (year 1832)
  63. The Search for Gold Mountain: Coming to America from China-1850-Cosson (3.0/1)
  64. When Jessie Came Across the Sea-Hest (3.2/0.5) (Eastern European)
  65. Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear-Namioka (4.6/3)

 Middle Grade+ (6+)

  1. Bitter Melon-Chow (4.8/11) (1980’s)
  2. The Distance Between Us: Young Reader’s Edition-Grande (5.0/11) (Mexico)
  3. Dragon Road-Yep (5.5/10) (1939)
  4. Dragonwings-Yep (5.3/10) (1909)
  5. Fresh off the Boat-de la Cruz (5.0/7)
  6. A Long Walk to Water-Park (5.0/3) (based on true story, 1985 and 2009, Sudan)
  7. Lost in America-Sachs (4.5/4)
  8. Mountain Light-Yep (4.8/8)
  9. The Red Umbrella-Gonzalez (3.8/8) (1961, from Cuba)
  10. The Traitor-Yep (4.8/9) (1885, Wyoming)

 Upper Grades (9-12)

  1. Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card-Saedi (7.5/11) (CA ’90’s Iran, profanity, sexual situations, and underage drinking)
  2. American Street-Zoboi (4.4/11) (Haiti, profanity, sexual references and violence)
  3. Boat People-Reiff (2.7/1)
  4. Born Confused-Hidier (5.9/23)
  5. CrashBoomLove: A Novel in Verse-Herrera (3.6/2)
  6. Delfino’s Journey-Harper (4.3/6)
  7. The Distance Between Us-A Memoir-Grande (5.4/17) (Mexico, profanity, sexual references, and violence)
  8. Fifth Chinese Daughter-Wong (8.2/16)
  9. The Fire Horse Girl-Honeyman (4.6/12)
  10. For Matrimonial Purposes-Daswani (6.4/11)
  11. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America-Dumas (7.3/9) NF
  12. Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be an American-Gilllan (6.0/18)
  13. The House on Mango Street-Cisneros (4.5/3)
  14. Learning to Fly-Yee (3.5/2)
  15. The Lonely Queue: The Forgotten History of the Courageous Chinese Americans in Los Angeles-Smith (10.2/5) NF
  16. Lovetorn-Daswani (5.1/8)
  17. A Mark on History-Schraff (4.9/3) (1865)
  18. My Antonia-Cather* (6.9/14)
  19. The Namesake-Lahiri (7.2/18)
  20. Samurai of Gold Hill-Uchida (5.7/4) (California 1869)
  21. The Star Fisher-Yep* (5.2/6) (1920’s)
  22. A Step from Heaven-Na (4.2/6)
  23. Thousand Pieces of Gold-McCunn (5.6/9)

Photo courtesy of pinchof

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