By Toni Duval
This month we are highlighting stories of immigration for children, middle grade readers and young adults. Our authors have made Canada their home in a variety of ways. They may have lived around the world before arriving here, are children of immigrants and/or chose to immigrate here as adults. They use storytelling to share a multitude of journeys. You will find both fiction and non-fiction options this month. While these are suggested titles, we’d love to hear about your favourites too. Perhaps you have a personal connection to one of these stories or it expands your understanding of the immigration journey.
Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees, by Jen Sookfong Lee and illustrated by Drew Shannon (Middle Grade Nonfiction)
Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Khan (Young Adult Novel)
Ever since her family moved to Texas from Pakistan when she was a baby, seventeen-year-old Zara Hossain has only ever called Corpus Christi home. Being the only Muslim girl at her conservative Catholic school, blending in isn’t really an option, especially with people like Tyler Benson always tormenting her.
But one day Tyler takes things too far by defacing Zara’s locker with a racist message, which gets him suspended. As an act of revenge, Tyler and his friends vandalize the Hossains’ house with Islamophobic graffiti, which leads to a violent crime that puts Zara and her family’s entire future at risk. Now she must choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home and losing the life she loves and everyone in it.
Zara Hossain is Here is a timely and intimate novel about what it means to be an immigrant in America today and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.
Sade: We're Moving to Canada! by Yewande Daniel-Ayoade (Picture Book)
Want to teach your kids about dealing with change while learning a new culture? Then Sade: We’re Moving to Canada is the right book for you.
In this first book in the series, Sade receives news that her family is moving from Nigeria to Canada. Everyone is excited, except Sade. She is upset about leaving her best friend, missing her favorite TV show, not getting to harvest her guavas, and not being able to collect fresh eggs from the family chickens.
Sade decides her only option is to ruin the family’s plans. Will she succeed? Or will she come to accept that change is a part of life?