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Immigration and New York: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about immigration is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Her Right Foot to L Is for Liberty there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about immigration? Let us know!

Her Right Foot book
#1
Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you'd mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She's in New York. She's holding a torch. And she's taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation. Can you believe that?

Irving Berlin book
#2
Irving Berlin
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by James Rey Sanchez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With "God Bless America," he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

Same Sun Here book
#3
Same Sun Here
Written by Neela Vaswani, Silas House and illustrated by Hilary Schenker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16

A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.

Lady Liberty's Holiday book
#4
Lady Liberty's Holiday
Written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Matt Hunt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

Ella and Monkey at Sea book
#5
Ella and Monkey at Sea
Written and illustrated by Emilie Boon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind— and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions

L Is for Liberty book
#6
L Is for Liberty
Written by Wendy Cheyette Lewison and illustrated by Laura Hines
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For more than a century, the Statue of Liberty has stood proudly in New York Harbor, welcoming people from near and far. Perfect for reading together with a young child, L Is for Liberty uses simple language and bold illustrations to celebrate the statue, her history, and the freedom she stands for.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!