Everybody in America is either an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants. This month’s Recommended Reads is in honor of immigrants. Where would we be if it were not for them?
The first wave of immigration to America came from Asia.
People of the Wolf, [#1, First North American series] by W. Michael & Kathleen O’Neal Gear.
The Ice Age ends and the People are led into new and plentiful hunting grounds by the Wolf Dreamer. Prequel to People of the Fire (DB 41114). Violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. For senior high and older readers. 1990. Cassette Book RC 4113. Digital Book DB 4113 is available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.41113.
Among the first permanent European settlers in North America were the Puritans who did not always see eye to eye with each other.
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell.
A history of the Puritan founders of New England. Contrasts Loyalist Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop with earlier Plymouth settlers led by the Reverend John Cotton. Discusses the philosophies of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, colonists' conflicts with Native Americans, and the Puritans' influence on American values. Bestseller. 2008. Braille Book BR 17935. Cassette Book RC 67904. Digital Book DB 67904. Also available as a downloadable digital book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.67904. Available as a downloadable Braille from Web-Braille: Volume 1. Location: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17935v01, Volume 2. Location: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17935v02.
The most famous entry point for immigrants from Europe was in the middle of New York harbor.
American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato.
Historian examines the history and politics of Ellis Island from 1892-1924, a period when twelve million immigrants were processed there. Details the evolution of public policy for admittance into the United States. Includes actual immigration cases of people who were filtered through the system. 2009. Cassette Book RC 69277. Digital Book DB 69277. Also available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.69277.
Spaghetti, corned beef, bagels—the foods we eat are part of the immigrants‘ contribution to America.
Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration by Hasia R. Diner.
History of three immigrant ethnic groups--Italian, Jewish, and Irish--and their distinctive responses to the abundance of food in America. Uses memoirs, journalism, and cookbooks to explore the ways each group made food a key part of their identity in the New World. 2001. Cassette Book RC 56328. Digital Book DB 56328 is available as a digital book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.56328.
It took years for the Chinese to be accepted after they came to America.
Thousand Pieces of Gold: A Biographical Novel by Ruthanne Lum McCunn.
Northern China and Central Idaho. This biographical novel is based on the life of Polly Bemis, born Lalu Nathoy in China in 1853. First sold by her impoverished father, she changed hands until she ended up in a Central Idaho mining camp during the years of anti-Chinese racism. She eventually married Charlie Bemis and became a respected and beloved member of the community. 2004. Braille Book BRW 1326. Cassette Book CBA 6687. Also available as a downloadable Braille book from WTBBL: http://www.wtbbl.org/braille-files.aspx
Scandinavians came in search of trees, fish, farms and jobs—and brought lutefisk.
New Land New Lives: Scandinavian Immigrants to the Pacific Northwest by Janet Rasmussen.
This collection of 45 oral history interviews is drawn from the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma WA. They convey the texture of daily life as these immigrants farm in the Yakima Valley, log in western Washington, fish in Alaska and on the Columbia River, do domestic work in Seattle and Portland and raise a family during the Depression. 1993. Digital Book DBW 8074. Also available as a downloadable book from WTBBL: http://www.wtbbl.org/login.aspx
Bengali immigrants are the subjects of this highly praised short story collection.
Unaccustomed Earth: Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Eight short stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning author explore the nature of family and love. In the title story, a mother in Seattle nervously hosts her widowed father, who helps tend her garden but hides a secret. Bestseller. 2008. Braille Book BR 17928. Cassette Book RC 66192. Digital Book DB 66192. Large Print Book LP 23935. Also available as a downloadable digital book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.66192. Available as a downloadable Braille book from Web-Braille: Volume 1. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17928v01, Volume 2. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17928v02, Volume 3. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17928v03.
Life is not always easy for Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles, a city that was part of Mexico until the 1840s.
The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse.
1980s Los Angeles. Aurora Esperanza's Mexican family and their neighbors struggle to achieve the American dream. Aurora's father, an illegal immigrant, loses his restaurant job and becomes a day laborer. Aurora's American-born mother cleans houses and is her white employer's only friend. Some violence and some strong language. 2010. Digital Book DB 71696. Also available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.71696.
So many immigrants have come to America to escape persecution and war.
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
The author recalls experiences as a war refuge and as a thirteen-year-old soldier forced to join the Sierra Leone army. Beah describes participation in mass slaughters, his rehabilitation, immigration to America, and involvement with UNICEF. Commercial audiobook. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2007. Braille Book BR 17077. Cassette Book RC 63512. Large print LP 23283. Digital Book DB 63512 is available from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.63512. Also available as a downloadable Braille book from Web-Braille: Volume 1. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17077v01, Volume 2. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.17077v02.