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Harry Potter and the Travel Ban

“Oh, really? You don’t act like an only child!” Growing up and entering adulthood, I have heard this phrase many a time. I take comfort knowing that I am not suffering from the dreaded “only child syndrome” of those who are spoiled or self-involved. I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that as a […]

On Zetta Elliott’s “Decolonizing the Imagination” (from 2010)

Author and teacher Zetta Elliott contributed “Decolonizing the Imagination” to the Writer’s Page column in the Magazine‘s March/April 2010 issue. As a child and young adult, Zetta loved classic British novels; she notes, however, that she “learned early on that only white children had wonderful adventures in distant lands; only white children were magically transported […]

Refugees welcome here: resources and booklist

In light of recent events, we want to strongly reiterate that the Horn Book is a place for all families. Our hearts are with those affected by the new immigration ban. We commend the important work of Kitaab World, whose “Countering Islamophobia Through Stories” campaign, beyond allowing Muslim children to see themselves in the books […]

Refugee children

The following recently published picture books focus on very young children’s experiences as refugees — fleeing war, unspeakable violence, destruction of all they’ve known — and hoping against hope they’ll be welcomed into a new country where their families can find better lives. In a piercing first-person account, one of the two children in the […]

American immigration

Coy, John  Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land Gr. K–3, 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Carolrhoda Photographs by Wing Young Huie. A short poetic text focuses on both the difficulties and rewards of immigrant life. Poignant black-and-white and color photos, taken over thirty years in Huie’s home state of Minnesota […]

Hbook Podcast 1.34 – Special Guest Melissa de la Cruz

Hbook podcast the 34th in which Siân chats with author and fellow Disney-lover Melissa de la Cruz. Melissa’s books we talk about Something in Between Fresh Off the Boat Double Eclipse People we talk about China Anne McClain Kara Saun Links Why Melissa de la Cruz’s immigration story matters now The Dream Act Disney Descendants […]

On Meg Medina’s “The Writer’s Page: On Writing the American Familia” (from January 2016)

Children’s author Meg Medina finds inspiration in the family stories she heard as a child, which “opened inside of me a sense of cultural history that wasn’t reflected in any book I was reading in school or seeing on any of my favorite television shows.” In an article from the January/February 2016 issue of the […]

Immigration

Freedman, Russell Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain Gr. 4–6     81 pp.     Clarion Chinese poems translated by Evans Chan. Freedman’s slender volume on the history and importance of California’s Angel Island Immigration Station — the portal for Asian immigration to the U.S. — covers a lot of ground. He weaves a clear and straightforward narrative […]

Moving time!

As a teacher, August is always one of my favorite months. There is so much promise & potential that comes with developing hopes and dreams for a new group of students (without yet having to contend with the mountain of phone calls, paper work, and logistics of the first month of school!). Although I’m thrilled […]

Music for Alice: a book in the key of life

Since I teach ESL to adults, I have to consider how I can convey some empathy for what my students have experienced, while also risking that some of the material I present may overwhelm them. Since I can never completely know all my students have been through — once a student burst into tears in […]