Add to this the simple fact that more and more multicultural books are being written, and you get a wealth of stories about the various aspects of moving to a new country--from arrival, to becoming legal (or not), to learning a new culture. And while most immigrant stories follow this similar pattern, each ethnic group tends to emphasize a slightly different aspect of the shared experience.
Naturally, books about Latino immigrants speak toward crossing the U.S./Mexico border, often with family member missing. However, rather than emphasizing culture shock in the new country, most stories focus on assimilation issues. My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Perez and illustrated by Maya Gonzalez describes a family's move from Mexico to Los Angeles. The sequel, My Very Own Room, then goes on to describe how the now Mexican-American girl finds a place of her own in this new life.
There are fewer books about contemporary Chinese immigrants, but a recent publication stands out to me: Hannah Is My Name by Belle Yang. This is an unusual book for two reasons: one is that the family immigrating is from Taiwan, not China. This is a more recent trend of Chinese immigrants, during a time of very little freedom of movement for mainland Chinese. The second is that the story focuses on the family's wait for a green card. This issue is hardly ever mentioned in books for this age group. I'm not sure if we need a whole library of books about immigrants on the path to citizenship, but have at least something is a nice representation of the journey.
The most famous of the contemporary immigrant stories of late, at least around here, has been Yangsook Choi's The Name Jar. The Name Jar has won a whole slew of awards, and rightly so. It depicts a little girl's embarrassment over her Korean name, and how the kids in her class have trouble pronouncing it. She decides to choose a new name from a jar of names, but when it comes time to actually choose... you can guess what happens.
Finally, I wanted to mention a book that is unusual because of its lack of focus. A Place to Grow by Soyung Pak and illustrated by Marcelino Truong is more of a poetic tribute to immigrant families and their courage. It does not specify a particular ethnic group or specific story, but in it, a father explains to his daughter that a family is like a seed. And seeds will grow and flourish if planted in the right place.
I feel terrible that I cannot mention every single great immigrant story, and there are so many more. I suppose I could simply direct you to the link at the top called "Shop Online," where you can browse our listings. But even there, we haven't covered them all! What are some of your favorites and why?