Hunt, Courtney. "Frozen River." USA. 2008.
This takes place near a border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between NY and Quebec. The lure of quick money brings two single mothers together- one white, one Mohawk. (97 min.)

Interactive Website
Homeland Guantanamo: The Untold Story of Immigrant Detention in the U.S.
An interactive website that tells the stories of immigrants being held in detention and calls for activism.
McCarthy, Thomas. "The Visitor." USA. 2007.
Walter Vale is a lonely economics professor in CT. His life is changed forever when he finds a couple of undocumented immigrants living in his NYC apartment. (104 minutes)
Interactive website with teaching toolkits, short films, games, and lesson plans.
Online Simulation Game
"ICED puts you in the shoes of an immigrant to illustrate how unfair immigration laws deny due process and violate human rights. These laws affect all immigrants: legal residents, those fleeing persecution, students and undocumented people."
Museum & Website
The Tenement Museum
Mission: The Tenement Museum promotes tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the variety of immigrant and migrant experience on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a gateway to America. Great place for a field trip but useful website, newsletter and blog as well.
Riggen, Patricia. "Under The Same Moon (La Misma Luna." Mexico/USA. 2007.
A story of a young boy who sets off alone to find his mother who left Mexico for the U.S.
Articles, interviews, and organizations that work to reunited seerated families can be found on the film's website:
Cardoso, Patricia. "Real Women Have Curves." USA. 2002.
Ana is a first generation Mexican-American teenager who feels torn between the cultural heritage of her traditional, old-world parents and her own American Dream of college.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003.
A coming of age story that also tells the tale of a Bengali family recently moved to the US from Calcutta. There is a film made of this novel. Lahiri also wrote Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth which are collections of short stories that also deal with the search for identity and place.

"Mockumentary" Film
Arau, Sergio. "A Day Without a Mexican." USA. 2004.
"One third of the population of California are Latinos. How would it change life for the state's other residents if this portion of the population was suddenly not there?" (taken from

Marsten, Joshua. "Maria Full of Grace (Maria llena eres de Gracia)." USA/Colombia. 2004.
This film is billed as not being based on a true story but makes clear that this is something that happens everyday. Maria Alavarez lives a modest life in a rural area outside of Colombia but at 17, faced with the futrelessness of her life, she meets Franklin at a party and Maria becomes a mule in smuggling drugs to NYC. A book of memoir/short stories written by one of the characters is a great companion piece. The book is called The Chronicles of Jackson Heights by Orlando Tobon (available in Spanish and English).

Abu-Jaber, Diana. The Language of Baklava. New York: Pantheon, 2005.
This is a nonfiction chronicle of growing up as the oldest daugher of an American mother and a Jordanian father who aches for his birth country. Capturing the essence of the new immigration story, Abu-Jaber asks, "Do people have to decide who they are and where exactly their home is? How many lives are we allowed?" (from (352 pages)

Danticat, Edwidge. Brother, I'm Dying. New York: Knopf, 2008.
When Danticat's parents left Haiti for a better life in the US, she and her brother stay in Haiti with their uncle. He is a remarkable figure in the Port-au-Prince community but at the age of 81 fled Haiti for Miami after a battle between UN peachers and chimeres gang members. This story mixes experiences of growing up in Haiti, political instability and the sacrifices families make as immigrants to the US. Danticat has also written The Dew Breaker and Breath, Eyes, Memory that also deal with the Haiti immigrant experience. (288 pages)

Dorfman, Ariel. Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey. New York: Penguin, 1998.
This memoir uses bilingualism as a metaphor for adaptation. (288 pages)

Dumas, Firoozeh. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America. Villard, 2004.
Dumas' family emigrated to the US from Iran in 1972 but the 1979 Iranian Revolution changed many things for her family bringing new discrimination and economic realities. (214 pages)

Non-Fiction Book
Fanderman, Lillian and Xiong, Ghia. I Begin My Life All Over: The Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience. Beacon Press, 1998.
Based on interviews with 35 Hmong immigrants to California. Faderman introduces Hmong history and reflects on the connections between the Hmong's stories and her own life of a child of Jewish immigrants from the shtetls of Eastern Europe. (288 pages)

Non-Fiction Book
Fernandes, Deepa. Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration. Seven Stories Press, 2007.
Radio journalist Fernandes uses research and a strong narrative voice to deconstruct that machinery of the immigration policy and system in the US. Forward by Howard Zinn. (303 pages)

Galli, Donald. First Crossing: Stories about Teen Immigrants. Candlewick, 2007.
A collection of 10 first person narratives that tell the stories of teen immigrants to the US and their diverse experiences. These are fiction stories but deal with some of the realities and conflicts that recent immigrants face. The level of writing is easy. (240 pages)

Greenberg, Judith. Newcomers to America: Stories of Today's Young Immigrants.
This is a collection of interviews and conversations interviewed in the D.C. area.

Jin, Ha. A Free Life. New York: Vintage International, 2007.
A saga about a Chinese family that leaves China after the Tiananmen Square massacre to begin a new "free life" in America.

Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee
This novel interweaves politics, love, family and loss for a second-generation Korean-American.

Crossing into America: The New Literature of Immigration by Louis Mendoza (2003- 365 pages)
An anthology that captures the experiences of new immigrants through fiction, memoir, poetry and personal essays. Well known authors such as Julia Alvarez, Frank McCourt, and Maxine Hong Kingston all contributed.

Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen
A memoir about a Vietnamese immigrant who came here with her family but her mother was lost in the confusion of the airlift out of Saigon in Aril 1975.

Short Stories
Imagining America: Stories from the Promised Land by Wesley Brown and Amy Ling (1991)
37 short stories grouped under the themes of "Arriving," "Belonging," "Crossings," and "Remembering."

Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in Spanish Speaking United States by Hector Tobar
An account of how Latinos are changing the US as Tobar tells his story of a binational identity.

Picture Book
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
Home becomes elusive in this story about immigration and acculturation, pieced together through old pictures and salvaged family tales. Both the narrator and his grandfather long to return to Japan, but when they do, they feel anonymous and confused: "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other." A picture book for children but beautiful and heartwarming.



Asgedom, Mawi. Of Beetles & Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2002.
When the author was 4, he and his family left their war ravaged home in Ethiopia and spent 3 years in a Sudanese refugee cam before coming to the USA in 1983. His father gives him the advice to "treat all people- even the most unsightly beetles- as though they were angels sent from heaven." Mawi overcomes racial prejudice, language barriers and financial struggles but earns a full scholarship to Harvard in this young adult autobiography. (192 pages)
God Grew Tired of Us (USA. 2006-)
This film follows 3 Sudanese refugee teens as they try to adjust to life in the U.S. Won the audience award at Sundance 2006.

Lost Boys of Sudan (USA. 2003-)
An award-winning documentary that follows the story of 2 refugee boys who were among the 20,000 forced from their homes and families in the 1987 civil war in Sudan.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (2007- 279 pages)
When the civil war reaches Beah's village in Sierra Leone in 1992, he becomes seperated from his family and friends and becomes captured by government troops who hook him on drugs, traumatize him and train him to kill.

They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan by Deng, Alephonsion and others (2005- 336 pages)
3 young refugees in California remember how they were driven from their homes in southern Sudan during the ethnic and religious conflicts that have left 2 million dead. Witht he help of Judy Bernstein, they tell their stories in interwoven narratives that put a personal face on the statistics.
Here is the book's website:

Fictionalized Autobiography
What is The What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng. A Novel. by Dave Eggers (2006- 475 pages)
This is a fictionalized autobiography closely based on the oral history of one of Sudan's "Lost Boys." Because this is an experimental form of writing and tries to accomplish a lot, it may be best for advanced students.