YA/MG Novels Featuring Refugees (great for libraries and classrooms!)

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YA/MG Novels Featuring Refugees

What are they running from?War/violenceTerrorismHunger/povertyReligious persecutionPolitical persecution Racial persecution

A Long Walk to WaterAlternates between two 11-year olds in SudanNyas story is set in 2008Nya walks 2 hours to get water from a pond, twice each daySalvas story is set in 1985Salva is a lost boy of SudanThemes: survival, importance of clean water

A Time of MiraclesSet in Republic of Georgia during collapse of the Soviet Union7-year old Blaise flees Georgia with his guardian GloriaThemes: family, survival

Bamboo People15-year old Chico wants to be a teacher, but he is instead forced to join the Burmese army.Chico befriends 16-year old Tu Reh, who teaches Chico how to survive training in exchange for learning EnglishThemes: friendship, survival, importance of learning to read

The Day of the PelicanMeli is an Albanian girl living in Kosovo, a country trying to fight off Serbian oppressorsThemes: homelessness, starvation, illness, poverty

The Good BraiderFree verseViola tells the story of her familys journey from war-torn Sudan to Cairo to the USAAdditional themes: adapting to a new culture, parent-child tension in new culture

Now Is the Time for RunningDeo and his older brother, Innocent flee their war-torn village in ZimbabweAdditional themes: soccer, mental illness, poverty

Shooting KabulIn 2001, 12-year old Fadis parents decide to illegally leave AfghanistanFadis little sister gets separated from the familyThemes: survival, family, perseverance

I Lived on Butterfly HillCelestes family flees Chile when artists, protesters, and people who help the needy are declared subversive and start disappearingContains illustrationsThemes: protecting loved ones, generosity, kindness, revolution

Where I BelongSet in SomaliaMahmoud is kidnapped and held for ransom. In London, Khadija, Mahmouds sister, tries to earn the ransom moneyThemes: identity, trust, family

The Red Pencil12-year old Amira hopes to attend school, but her Sudanese village is attackedAfter losing everything, Amira walks on foot to a refugee campFree verse with illustrationsThemes: importance of education, perseverance

Zlatas DiaryHas been compared to The Diary of Anne Frank11-year old Zlata witnesses war-torn Sarajevo, food shortages, bombardments, and the deaths of her friendsThemes: courage, perseverance

Weedflower12-year old Sumiko is American-born JapaneseAfter Pearl Harbor is bombed, Sumiko and her family are sent to a Japanese internment campThemes: belonging, friendship, racism, fear

Guantanamo Boy15-year old English boy named Khalid is kidnapped from Pakistan while visiting relatives with his parentsTaken to Guantanamo Bay and held without chargeThemes: freedom, detainee rights

Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American TownA refugee settlement in Georgia becomes home to a youth soccer team made up of refugee childrenThemes: cultural differences, racism, power of play

Image Credits:Barbed wire (slide 1) courtesy Christian Spies via Unsplashhttps://unsplash.com/search/barbed-wire?photo=S5XON9lNFvo

Exit sign (slide 2) courtesy Kev Seto via Unsplashhttps://unsplash.com/@kevseto?photo=Jv0TBnjzYNM

All cover images courtesy Goodreadswww.goodreads.com


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