Tag: immigrants

Review: The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah

This book about a Palestinian family in Chicago, Illinois begins with a school shooting.  Afaf, the principal of a school for Muslim girls, is praying when the gunman opens fire.  Then the book goes back to Afaf’s childhood.  Afaf is raised in Chicago in the 1970s with her not very religious parents, her older sister,…

Review: Amnesty by Aravind Adiga

I found this a really interesting read about what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant in Australia. Adiga tells the story through the eyes of Danny, who has fled his native Sri Lanka after torture. He comes to Australia through a school program, applies for refugee status but is denied, and then stays on…

Review: Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

I absolutely loved this children’s book about a girl from a Cuban-Jewish family living in New York who is seriously injured in a car accident and ends up in a full body cast.  It’s a perfect book for children in about 3rd-4th grade who have ever felt left out – and what kid hasn’t? I…

Review: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

I really enjoyed this debut novel that combines courtroom drama with a moving story about a Korean-American family.  Even better, the author is local and writes about a small town in Virginia that doesn’t exist but felt very real. The Yoo family runs a  a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a submarine-like contraption that people sit in to…

Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

I really liked this slow-burner of a novel about a program for the wealthy who want surrogate parents.  Ramos creates what I found to be a very believable scenario and raises a lot of really interesting issues regarding parenthood, wealth, immigration, race and class.  A corporation creates a home for young women to bear the children…

Review: A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

This is my favorite book of the year so far.  It was everything I like in a book – really character-driven, about complex family relationships. It’s about a family where the parents are immigrants to the U.S. and they struggle to raise their children in a culture that is sometimes foreign to them.  Their children…

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, edited by America Ferrera

American Like Me is a compilation of essays about what it means to live in America, from actors, athletes, writers, and activists who are either immigrants or the children of immigrants.  The general theme of the book is celebrating the multiculturalism of the United States while also celebrating the many opportunities this country offers. This…

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

I loved this thoughtful book about immigration and U.S. citizenship.  It was the perfect complement to the other books I’ve read on this subject, like Lisa Ko’s The Leavers and Diane Guerrero’s In the Country I Love. This is the story of Jende Jonga and his wife Neni.  The Jongas are from Cameroon, having emigrated…

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

I’ve seen mixed reviews of this book, but I really liked it.  Chang gives us a screwed-up family on a road trip, but she makes their story sympathetic, clever and at times funny.  I’ve seen this book described as hilarious, and I can’t say it reached that level for me, but then I’m not Chinese so…

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

I read this book right after reading Americanah, and both provide a fascinating, though different, perspective on the immigrant experience in the United States. Sometimes a book makes you take a second look at the people you encounter every day. Makes you think beyond whether the person behind the counter can understand your sandwich order,…

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