This edition focuses on picture books that feature English Language Learners, bilingual, refugee, first-generation and immigrant children as the protagonists.
Lower level (Limited English/younger children 4+)
Drawn Together by Minh Le
Why we love it: uses words in another language, very small text and comic book style illustrations to tell the story of an English speaking child visiting his non-English speaking grandpa.
Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour
Why we love it: Delicately relates story of a friendship that grows while living in a refugee camp, uses simple language.
Medium Level (Proficient English/ 6-8)
Where Are You From by Yamile Saied Méndez
Why we love it: uses beautiful language to describe home country (that is never identified) and deals with questions all ELLs experience.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Why we love it: depicts a diverse classroom but also what it's like to be the odd child out because of having a different lunch, summer plans etc.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Why we love it: autobiographical story of an immigrant coming to America. Uses actual Spanish words, shows how they made mistakes and used books to help them learn.
Higher Level: (Fluent English/older child 7+)
Stolen Words by Melanie Florence
Why we love it: complex with emotion and imagery, this story shows the relationship between a girl and her grandfather. When she asks him how to say something in Cree, he explains that it was stolen from him as a boy. Shows the importance of practicing your home language.
Never Too Young! 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference by Aileen Weintraub
Why we love it: This non-fiction book is very text heavy, with a simple illustration for each child. It allows children to skip around and draw inspiration from different children all over the world.
Do you have a favorite book featuring English Language Learners, bilingual, first-generation and immigrant children as the protagonists? Share your favorites in the comments.