This year’s Big Read, The Namesake by Jumpa Lahiri, tells the story of a family moving from their native Calcutta to settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Reading about the experiences, the clashes of culture, the conflicts of assimilation faced by immigrants is especially important in today’s society. Check out the books below about teens finding their way in new surroundings!
When Fabiola's mother is detained upon their arrival to the United States, Fabiola must navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of Detroit's west side, a new school, and a surprising romance all on her own.
Something in Between
Melissa de la Cruz
Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.
The Good Braider
Follows Viola as she survives brutality in war-torn Sudan, makes a perilous journey, lives as a refugee in Egypt, and finally reaches Portland, Maine, where her quest for freedom and security is hampered by memories of past horrors and the traditions her mother and other Sudanese adults hold dear.
The Sun is Also a Star
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there is something extraordinary in store for both of them.
Lucy and Linh
In Australia, Lucy tries to balance her life at home surrounded by her Chinese immigrant family, with her life at a pretentious private school.
Rani Patel in Full Effect
Rani Patel, almost seventeen and living on remote Moloka'i island, is oppressed by the cultural norms of her Gujarati immigrant parents. But when Mark, an older man, draws her into new experiences, red flags abound.
Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
The Fire Horse Girl
When Jade Moon, born in the unlucky year of the Fire Horse, and her father immigrate to America in 1923 and are detained at Angel Island Immigration Station, Jade Moon is determined to find a way through and prove that she is not cursed.
The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz
Through emails, one-act plays, and Chinese-style fortunes, Amy keeps her best friend informed as her elderly neighbor, Miss Sophia, invites herself and her nephew Beryl, a Hassidic Jew, to help Amy with a school assignment that takes them across New York City.
Patricia Riley Giff
When twelve-year-old Lidie leaves Brazil to join her father and brother on a horse ranch in New York, she has a hard time adjusting to her changed circumstances, as does a new horse that has come to the ranch.
The Night of the Burning: Devorah’s Story
Linda Press Wulf
Still sad and frightened after living in Poland through World War I and the Russian Revolution, twelve-year-old Devorah Lehrman, her younger sister, and other Jewish orphans travel with Isaac Ochberg to South Africa and make a new start.
A Long Walk to Water
Linda Sue Park
When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.
Two Burmese boys, one a Karenni refugee and the other the son of an imprisoned Burmese doctor, meet in the jungle and in order to survive they must learn to trust each other.
In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family.