Children’s Books about Refugees & Immigration

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We live in turbulent times so books that address the topics of refugees and immigration can help children develop empathy, understanding, and awareness of the challenges faced by individuals and families who have been forced to leave their homes.

Here are some good books for children about refugees and immigration:

The Journey” by Francesca Sanna

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a family’s journey to escape their war-torn homeland and find safety.

“Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey” by Margriet Ruurs

Through the perspective of a young girl, this book explores the experience of a Syrian refugee family as they seek a new home.

“The Keeping Quilt” by Patricia Polacco

This picture book tells the story of a quilt that has been passed down through generations, starting with a family’s immigration to the United States.

“My Name is Sangoel” by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed

The book follows a young Sudanese boy who is adapting to life in the United States while maintaining his cultural identity.

“The Arrival” by Shaun Tan

A wordless graphic novel that vividly portrays the immigrant experience through striking and fantastical illustrations.

“The Color of Home” by Mary Hoffman

This book tells the story of a young boy from Somalia who is adjusting to life in the United States and uses art as a means of communication.

“Four Feet, Two Sandals” by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed

Set in a refugee camp, this book explores the friendship between two girls who share a pair of sandals.

“The Only Road” by Alexandra Diaz

A middle-grade novel that tells the story of a brother and sister’s dangerous journey from Guatemala to the United States to escape violence.

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees” by Don Brown

A graphic novel that provides an overview of the Syrian refugee crisis, suitable for older children and young teens.

“The Good Braider” by Terry Farish

This young adult novel follows a girl’s journey from war-torn Sudan to the United States and her struggle to adapt to a new life.

These books offer different perspectives on the experiences of refugees and immigrants, and they can be valuable resources for helping children understand the challenges, resilience, and diversity of those who have undergone such journeys. It’s important to choose books that are age-appropriate and engage in discussions with children to help them process the content and develop empathy.

You may like to read some books that start conversations around events that help your children  to understand the plight of refugees.

Here is a collection of books recommended by a community of primary teachers, TAs, children’s authors, librarians and book lovers that explores the topic of immigration.

Here are some books about raising awareness and promoting discussion about acceptance, kindness and refugees in your schools or homes that start from the early years and end with Year 6 titles.



A World Book Day 2020 Author




Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense.

There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.

He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!

But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.

That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan. . .

With beautiful illustrations by Pippa Curnick

Available on Amazon

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