Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
First-Gen Reading Suggestions From The BC Library
Hover over the to read a description of the book!
Front Desk by Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
Call Number: REALISTIC FIC YAN
Publication Date: 2018
Hurricane Child by Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.
Call Number: REALISTIC FIC CAL
Publication Date: 2018
Red Butterfly by A young orphaned girl in modern-day China discovers the meaning of family in this inspiring story told in verse, in the tradition of Inside Out and Back Again and Sold. Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to be content with what she has...but what if Kara secretly wants more? Told in lyrical, moving verse, Red Butterfly is the story of a girl learning to trust her own voice, discovering that love and family are limitless, and finding the wings she needs to reach new heights.
Call Number: HISTORICAL FIC SON
Publication Date: 2015-02-03
Before We Were Free by Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her 12th birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disappeared without a trace, and the government’s secret police terrorize her remaining family because of their suspected opposition of el Trujillo’s dictatorship. Using the strength and courage of her family, Anita must overcome her fears and fly to freedom, leaving all that she once knew behind. From renowned author Julia Alvarez comes an unforgettable story about adolescence, perseverance, and one girl’s struggle to be free.
Call Number: HISTORICAL FIC ALV
Publication Date: 2002-08-13
Hover over the to read a description of the book!
You Bring the Distant Near by A 2017 National Book Award Longlist Title with six starred reviews ASchool Library Journal'sBest Books of 2017 A New York City Public Library's Notable 50 Best Books for Teens 2018 South Asia Book Award Winner 2018 White Ravens Award Winner A Louisiana Readers' Choice Award Nominee This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations,You Bring the Distant Nearexplores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse. From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity. Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.
Publication Date: 2017-09-12
The Star Side of Bird Hill by This lyrical novel of community, betrayal and love centres on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from their US home in Brooklyn and sent to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother realises she can no longer care for them. The young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, live for the summer of 1989 with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah.
Publication Date: 2016-08-23
Krik? Krak! by Krik? Krak!, originally released in 1996 following the publication of Edwidge Danticat's extraordinary Breath, Eyes, Memory (abacus, 1996) confirms her as a remarkably gifted writer. Examining the lives of ordinary Haitians, particularly those struggling to survive under the brutal Duvalier regime, Danticat illuminates the distance between people's desires and the stifling reality of their lives. These short stories inform and enrich one another, as the female characters reveal a common ancestry and ties to the fictional Ville Rose.
Publication Date: 2015-12-15
More Resources For Finding Books, Or Authors By Nationality
This Spreadsheet was created by The Castilleja School in Palo Alto, CA when they did a "Readers without Borders" reading challenge. The collection is focused on books that written in other countries (rather than by immigrants to the US). You can filter the results based on country, continent or age range. Please note that there are adult titles on the list!
These are all national awards, or lists that recognize authors who identify with different cultural identities. Some of them live in America, but some of them live internationally & have been translated into English.
"The Arab American Book Awards is a literary program created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans. The program generates greater awareness of Arab American scholarship and writing through an annual award competition and educational outreach." (From About the Arab American Book Awards)
NCSS established the Carter G. Woodson Book Awards for the most distinguished books appropriate for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States. First presented in 1974, this award is intended to “encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social studies books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and race relations sensitively and accurately.” (From the Award Winners page)
"CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States" (From the "About the Award" page
Global Literature Reading List: Selected Literature for Children and Teens Set In Other Worlds
"This bibliography was designed with U.S. readers in mind, so “other countries” refers to countries other than the United States. Books on the list are arranged by geographic region of the world." (From the list's home page)
"The Batchelder Award is awarded to a United States publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year." (From the About the Award page)
Pura Belpré Award
"The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. . . The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library." (From the list's About the Award page)
"Texas State University College of Education developed the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. The award was established in 1995 and was named in honor of Dr. Tomás Rivera, a distinguished alumnus of Texas State University." (From the list's About the Award page)