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I’m Your Neighbor Books: Immigration Children’s Literature

IYN-Web-Banner-2If you are a frequent Classroom Bookshelf reader, you have likely noticed that over the past year we have posted a range of entries about books that reflect the immigrant and refugee experience. This week’s Monday post was devoted to two books: La Frontera and Dreamers. Last spring, we wrote entries on The Night Diary, Escape from Aleppo, Global Literature to Teach Global Understanding, and Islandborn. Last fall and winter, we wrote about Wishtree and Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix. We have other titles in store for the months ahead.

Over the summer, I met Kirsten Cappy, creator of the I’m You’re Neighbor Project. The mission? “Welcoming immigrants, refugees, and migrants as neighbors through the sharing of children’s literature and other stories.” Classroom Bookshelf readers may be interested in the books Kristen has curated as part of this project. Perhaps your school is interested in inviting the “Welcoming Library” to your community? Or, you can use the book list to expand your collection. Or, you can order labels for the spines of books you already have, to make your classroom or school library more neighbor-friendly.

Mary Ann Cappiello About Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann is a professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former public school language arts and humanities teacher, she is a passionate advocate for and commentator on children’s books. Mary Ann is the co-author of Teaching with Text Sets (2013) and Teaching to Complexity (2015) and Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy (Stenhouse, 2021). She has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television. From 2015-2018, Mary Ann was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) Committee, serving two years as chair.


  1. Susan Savory says

    I’m so pleased that you are highlighting the remarkable I’m Your Neighbor project, but feel compelled to tell you that the founder’s name is actually Kirsten Cappy, not Kristen. An easy mistake to make –

  2. Thanks for featuring I’m Your Neighbor and the power of immigration kidlit to create a culture of welcoming.

    The WELCOMING LIBRARY is a pop-up community conversation about immigration.That conversation is driven by a collection of acclaimed immigration-themed picture books and their embedded discussion questions.The collection, its pop-up display unit, and programming and educational tools, packs into a crate and travels between schools, libraries, and community centers in a given region.

    THE RESULTS OF THE PILOT Welcoming Library has been very encouraging:
    67% inspired by the book or project to be actively welcoming in their communities.
    100% saw similarities between the book’s family and their own.
    100% want to read more books like these.