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This Month in History: January

A Celebration of Immigrants

In recognition of the opening of Ellis Island--a harbor that acted as a reception point for immigrants hoping to make their way into the United States--129 years ago, January 1, 1892, it felt appropriate to create a book list that worked to acknowledge these immigrants and the struggles they face.

Since the beginning of the United States’ existence, immigrants have been an important cornerstone of the population, bringing their cultures, languages, and adding diversity to further enrich the nation. Acknowledging them, their presence, the wonderful additions they bring to the United States, as well as the unfathomable horrors they face (such as racism, xenophobia, and being the “other”) is an important and necessary step to foster harmony and love within our population.

The following selection of books are by immigrants (and refugees) about their experiences, both positive and negative.

97 Orchard
97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman


best we could do
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui


Dominicana by Angie Cruz


the girl who smiled beads
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya


this land is our land
This Land is Our Land by Suketu Mehta


ungrateful refugee
The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri