Finding Home

Fiction about the Immigrant Experience

These stories explore the struggles and triumphs of immigrants and their families as they build new lives for themselves in unfamiliar countries. Overcome language barriers by using our curated lists to master essential vocabulary from the books.
  • American StreetIbi Zoboi
    In Ibi Zoboi's debut novel, a young Haitian immigrant tries to make a new life for herself in Detroit.
  • Beast RiderTony Johnston and María Elena Fontanot de Rhoads
    Twelve-year-old Manuel attempts to make a difficult and dangerous journey from Mexico to Los Angeles to reunite with his older brother.
  • Front DeskKelly Yang
    Ten-year-old Mia Tang lives and works at the motel where her immigrant parents are employed. Together, Mia and her family strive to make a better life for themselves — and for other immigrants in their community.
  • How the García Girls Lost Their AccentsJulia Alvarez
    After they move from the Dominican Republic to New York City, the four García sisters are caught between the expectations of their traditional parents and their own desire to assimilate to American culture.
  • Picture Us in the LightKelly Loy Gilbert
    High school senior Danny Cheng is grappling with his identity as an artist, the death of a classmate, and a painful crush on his best friend. When he finds evidence that his parents are hiding a painful secret, his determination to uncover the truth will change his life forever.
  • The Joy Luck ClubAmy Tan
    In this international bestseller, four Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters try to understand each other.
  • Shooting KabulN.H. Senzai
    When Fadi's family flees Afghanistan for the United States, his younger sister Mariam is accidentally left behind. Fadi enters a photography contest in the hopes that his winnings will allow him to find Mariam.
  • A Very Large Expanse of SeaTahereh Mafi
    It is 2002, and Shirin, a Muslim-American teenager, faces prejudice from the students and teachers at her school. When popular basketball player Ocean James falls for Shirin, she has difficulty trusting that his affection is real — and fears their relationship will not be able to withstand the bigoted reactions of their community.
  • AmericanahChimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    This novel tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, Nigerians who immigrate to the United States and London, respectively, and eventually reunite in their homeland.
  • Darius the Great Is Not OkayAdib Khorram
    Darius has always struggled to fit in: he suffers from depression, he is bullied at school, and he can never seem to meet his father's high expectations. When Darius's family travels to Iran to visit his grandparents, Darius finds a place where he belongs, and a true friendship, for the first time.
  • Esperanza RisingPam Mu?oz Ryan
    When tragedy strikes, Esperanza's family has to leave their ranch in Mexico and move to a farmworkers' camp during the Great Depression.
  • Home of the BraveKatherine Applegate
    In this verse novel, a young immigrant from Africa adjusts to life in the United States.
  • Inside Out & Back AgainThanhha Lai
    Fleeing to America to escape the Vietnam War, Hà and her family end up in Alabama, where they must adapt to a new culture. This novel in verse was inspired by author Thanhha Lai's own experiences.
  • Love, Hate & Other FiltersSamira Ahmed
    Maya Aziz thinks her biggest problem is convincing her traditional parents to allow her to study filmmaking in New York City — but when a terrorist attack is committed near her hometown, she must also confront prejudice in her community.
  • Lucky Broken GirlRuth Behar
    Recent immigrants from Cuba, Ruthie and her family are just learning to adjust to life in New York City when Ruthie is severely injured in a car accident. This novel, based in part on the author's childhood experiences, won the 2018 Pura Belpré Award.
  • Patron Saints of NothingRandy Ribay
    High school senior Jay Reguero travels to the Philippines to investigate his cousin's murder — and grapples with his identity as a Filipino American.
  • The Book of Unknown AmericansCristina Henríquez
    After Maribel Rivera sustains a debilitating injury, her family leaves a comfortable life in Mexico to seek treatment in the United States. Maribel develops a close relationship with her new neighbor Mayor, setting in motion a devastating chain of events.
  • The CircuitFrancisco Jiménez
    This collection of autobiographical short stories by Francisco Jiménez explores the immigrant experience in the United States.
  • You Bring the Distant NearMitali Perkins
    In this family saga, three generations of South Asian women adapt in different ways to life in America.
  • Be PreparedVera Brosgol
    In this graphic novel based on the author's own experiences, a young immigrant from Russia wants to go to summer camp like her American-born friends — but when her parents finally agree, she finds that camp is nothing like she expected.
  • IllegalEoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin
    In this graphic novel illustrated by Giovanni Rigano, Ebo and his brother Kwame attempt the dangerous journey from Ghana to Europe in search of a better life.
  • The Poet XElizabeth Acevedo
    Xiomara hides her poetry from her religious family, but when she joins a slam poetry club, she must decide whether or not she's ready for her voice to be heard. Learn these words from the acclaimed novel-in-verse by slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.
  • The Astonishing Color of AfterEmily X.R. Pan
    After her mother's death, Leigh travels to Taiwan, where she tries to piece together her family history while also coming to terms with her grief.
  • Before We Were FreeJulia Alvarez
    Twelve-year-old Anita has grown up in the Dominican Republic during the brutal Trujillo regime. When her family gets caught up in an attempt to overthrow the dictator, Anita must find her own path to freedom.
  • SeedfolksPaul Fleischman
    Author Paul Fleischman coined the term "seedfolks" to describe ordinary people whose lives are connected by a community garden. As you read their stories, grow your vocabulary by practicing this list.
  • The Sun Is Also a StarNicola Yoon
    In these popular novel, two teens meet and fall in love over the course of a single day in New York City.
  • The House on Mango StreetSandra Cisneros
    Growing up in a poor Chicago neighborhood, Esperanza Cordero longs for a better life but finds it difficult to break free of the past.
  • The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini
    Set in Afghanistan during a time of political and social upheaval, this novel traces the decades-long friendship of two boys from different social classes.
  • The NamesakeJhumpa Lahiri
    Gogol Ganguli's Indian parents named him after a famous Russian writer. As a first-generation American, he attempts to reconcile his parents' history with his own hopes for the future.
  • Without RefugeJane Mitchell
    Refugees from the violent civil war in their homeland of Syria, Ghalib and his family attempt to journey to safety.
  • Lupita Ma?anaPatricia Beatty
    After the death of their father, thirteen-year-old Lupita and her brother journey from Mexico to the United States in search of a better life.
  • Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak SpanishPablo Cartaya
    After 14-year-old Marcus gets into a fight at school, his mom decides to take him to Puerto Rico, where Marcus searches for his absentee father.
  • American PandaGloria Chao
    College freshman Mei struggles to live up to her parents expectations and figure out what kind of future she truly wants.
  • Down and AcrossArvin Ahmadi
    Rising high school senior Scott Ferdowsi is having difficulty coping with the pressure to make decisions about his future — so he runs off to Washington, DC and embarks on an adventure that will change his life.

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