Re-published with permission from Jen Ryland Reviews
Immigration is an important part of the fabric of our country, but has become a hot-button issue in the US over the past few years.
Below is a list of some recent YA books on Immigration.
New YA Books About Immigration
The Next New Syrian Girl by Ream Shukairy
Khadija Shami is a Syrian American high school senior raised on boxing and football. Saddled with a monstrous ego and a fierce mother to test it, she dreams of escaping her sheltered life to travel the world with her best friend.
Leene Tahir is a Syrian refugee, doing her best to adjust to the wildly unfamiliar society of a suburban Detroit high school while battling panic attacks and family pressures.
When their worlds collide the result is catastrophic. To Khadija, Leene embodies the tame, dutiful Syrian ideal she's long rebelled against. And to Leene, Khadija is the strong-willed, closed-off American who makes her doubt her place in the world.
But as Khadija digs up Leene’s past, a startling and life-changing discovery forces the two of them closer together. As the girls secretly race to unravel the truth, a friendship slowly and hesitantly begins blooming. Doubts are cast aside as they realize they have more in common than they each expected. What they find takes them on a journey all the way to Jordan, challenging what each knows about the other and herself.
While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai
It’s a classic story: girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, boy finally notices girl when he sees her in a homemade costume. At least, that’s what Sonia Patil is hoping for when she plans to meet her crush at the local comic-con in cosplay.
But instead of winning her crush over, Sonia rescues him after he faints into a canal and, suddenly, everything changes. Since she was in disguise, no one knows who the masked do-gooder was . . .but everyone is trying to find out. Sonia can’t let that happen—her sister is undocumented, and the girls have been flying under the radar since their mother was deported back to Mumbai.
Sonia finds herself hiding from social media detectives and trying to connect with her crush and his family. But juggling crushes and a secret identity might just take superpowers. Can Sonia hide in plain sight forever?
Brighter Than the Sun by Daniel Aleman
Every morning, sixteen-year-old Sol wakes up at the break of dawn in her hometown of Tijuana, Mexico and makes the trip across the border to go to school in the United States. Though the commute is exhausting, this is the best way to achieve her dream: becoming the first person in her family to go to college.
When her family’s restaurant starts struggling, Sol must find a part-time job in San Diego to help her dad put food on the table and pay the bills. But her complicated school and work schedules on the US side of the border mean moving in with her best friend and leaving her family behind.
With her life divided by an international border, Sol must come to terms with the loneliness she hides, the pressure she feels to succeed for her family, and the fact that the future she once dreamt of is starting to seem unattainable. Mostly, she’ll have to grapple with a secret she’s kept even from herself: that maybe she’s relieved to have escaped her difficult home life, and a part of her may never want to return.