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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Ink Knows No Borders: Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month

"My hometown

remote but alive

here on my tongue"

- "Adrift," Alice Tao

June is Immigrant Heritage Month—a time to celebrate the cultures from around the world that make up our country. The immigrant experience is of course a mixed bag, often including deportation, discrimination, and struggles to fulfill hopes and dreams, to fit in without assimilating mindlessly. While it's important for all of us, no matter where we come from, to listen to and read these kinds of accounts, it's also important to celebrate the unique joys of culture and family that come with everyone's heritage. Explore the reading list below, which includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and books for both children and young adults, that explore the immigrant experience.

You can also read President Biden's "Proclamation on Immigrant Heritage Month" here. As he says, "The United States is a Nation of immigrants — shaped by the courageous people from around the world who leave their homes, lives, and loved ones to seek refuge and opportunity on our shores. Their sacrifices and entrepreneurial spirit have contributed to the rich tapestry that has defined the character of our country for generations."

Click the links below to request books from our catalog.


Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Afterlife, Julia Alvarez

Homeland Elegies, Akhtar Ayad

We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo

America Is Not the Heart, Elaine Castillo

Of Women and Salt, Gabriela Garcia

The Book of Unknown Americans, Cristina Henríquez

The Stationery Shop, Marjan Kamali

Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok

Searching for Sylvie Lee, Jean Kwok

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

Native Speaker, Chang-rae Lee

Lost Children Archive, Valeria Luiselli

Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, Dinaw Mengestu

A Place For Us, Fatima Farheen Mirza

Refuge, Dina Nayeri

The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen

A Woman Is No Man, Etaf Rum

Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie

The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong

White Ivy, Susie Yang

Sour Heart: Stories, Jenny Zhang


The Promised Land, Mary Antin

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir, Thi Bui

Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants, George W. Bush

Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief, Victoria Chang

The Undocumented Americans, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Brother, I'm Dying, Edwidge Danticat

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, Firoozeh Dumas

Refugee High: Coming of Age in America, Elly Fishman

Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories From the Tables of Immigrant Women, Anna Francese Gass

The Distance Between Us: A Memoir, Reyna Grande

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero

Children of the Land, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin

The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great, Leyla Moushabeck

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You, Dina Nayeri

The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration and Displacement, Jose Orduna

Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America, Mayukh Sen

The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America, ed. Nikesh Shukla & Chimena Suleyman

The Body Papers: A Memoir, Grace Talusan

New Mainers: Portraits of Our Immigrant Neighbors, Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest

Beautiful Country: A Memoir, Qian Julie Wang


When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, Chen Chen

Curb, Divya Victor

Unaccompanied, Javier Zamora

Children's and Young Adult

The Magical Imperfect, Chris Baron

Isla to Island, Alexis Castellanos

Efrén Divided, Ernesto Cisneros

The Only Road, Alexandra Diaz

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel, Firoozeh Dumas

We Belong, Cookie Hiponia Everman

Each of Us a Universe, Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo & Ndengo Gladys Mwilelo

One Good Thing About America, Ruth Freeman

Living With Viola, Rosena Fung

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American, Laura Gao

Almost American Girl, Robin Ha

When Stars Are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

Beast Rider, Tony Johnston

The Land of Forgotten Girls, Erin Entrada Kelly

The Legend of Auntie Po, Shing Yin Khor

Pie in the Sky, Remy Lai

Inside Out & Back Again, Thanhha Lai

Everything Sad is Untrue: (a true story), David Nayeri

Finding Junie Kim, Ellen Oh

Silver Meadows Summer, Emma Otheguy

A Different Pond, Bao Phi and Thi Bui

The Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Q. Raúf

Carry On: Poetry by Young Immigrants, illus. Rogé, trans. Susan Ouriou

Kiki and Jacques, Susan Ross

Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan

Land of the Cranes, Aida Salazar

Shooting Kabul, N.H. Senzai

Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience, ed. Patrice Vecchione & Alyssa Raymond

Other Words for Home, Jasmine Warga

Facing Fear: An Immigration Story, Karen Lynn Williams, illus. Sara Palacios

Front Desk, Kelly Yang

New From Here, Kelly Yang

Maizy Chen's Last Chance, Lisa Yee

The Sun Is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon

American Street, Ibi Aanu Zoboi

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