This post was originally published in Nick Glass’ monthly column for Curriculum Connections, an e-newsletter published by School Library Journal in partnership with TeachingBooks.net. Subscribe to this free newsletter here.
Throughout the ages, individuals and groups have migrated, emigrated, fled, and been forcibly removed from their homelands. When teaching about the movement of people, books can provide students with a variety of perspectives.
In this month’s post, we feature award-winning titles that address the experiences of enslaved Africans, indigenous groups, and recent immigrants, and offer a multimedia resource for each.
Listen to Allen Say as he explores the role that his grandfather’s story played in shaping his Caldecott Medal title, Grandfather’s Journey (Houghton, 1993).
Learn why it took Tom Feelings over 20 years to complete his Coretta Scott King Book Award winner, The Middle Passage: White Ships / Black Cargo (Penguin, 1995), in this audio clip.
View this TeachingBooks.net Meet-the-Author Movie in which Francisco Jiménez explains his purpose in The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (University of New Mexico Press, 1997): to give a voice to less-visible members of society.
Listen as Canadian Métis author David Bouchard notes that in writing The Elders Are Watching (Fulcrum, 1993, illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers), he hoped to make aboriginal culture accessible to students.
Listen to Eve Bunting describe how she came to write How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story (Clarion, 1988, illustrated by Beth Peck) about the many people who faced incredible peril traveling from the Caribbean to the United States in small, open boats.
Hear nonfiction author Ann Bausum speak about her research, including examining unpleasant aspects of American history, while working on her Carter G. Woodson Book Award-winning work, Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration (National Geographic, 2009).
Play this audio recording of Paul Yee to discover how his identity as a gay, Chinese immigrant helped him develop the protagonist of the Stonewall Honor book Money Boy (Groundwood, 2011).
Watch author Shaun Tan as he discusses the uncertainty and “strangeness” of the immigration experience as portrayed in his wordless book, The Arrival (Scholastic, 2007).