6 Books Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month and Ability Awareness

Posted on June 3, 2024

by Brooke C

During June, Toledo Lucas County Public Library celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month. The six books below celebrate immigrant heritage and ability awareness. For a list of Library programs and resources that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, please visit toledolibrary.org/bigidea.

Book Jacket: This Kid Can Fly

this kid can fly by Aaron Philip

Aaron Was 14 years old when he wrote this book. He was living in Antigua when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and his family emigrated to New York City. Aaron shares his life and experiences honestly, with the humor and confidence of a teenager.

Book Jacket: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

the spirit catches you and you fall down by Anne Fadiman

In 1980, 3-month-old Lia was diagnosed with what American doctors called epilepsy, and her family called quag dab peg or “the spirit catches you and you fall down.” This book follows the family as they immigrate to California for treatment, and their cultural beliefs and practices often clash with American medicine and practices. This is a great book about respecting and recognizing cultural differences, especially in the medical world.

Book Jacket: Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything

ruby lu, empress of everything by Lenore Look

In this book in the Ruby Lu series, Ruby is getting used to the changes in the family dynamic after her cousin, who is deaf and speaks Chinese sign language, immigrates to the United States from China. This entire series is a lot of fun, and children will enjoy Ruby’s antics.

Book Jacket: Breathe and Count Back From Ten

breathe and count back from ten by Natalia Sylvester

Vero and her family immigrated to the United States from Peru, in part to get better medical treatment for her hip dysplasia. At 17 years old she is trying to figure out who she is, how she fits into both Peruvian and American culture, and how to be an advocate – for herself and others. This is a very well-written story and both teens and adults will enjoy it.

Book Jacket: Such a Pretty Girl

such a pretty girl by Nadina LaSpina

Disability rights activist Nadia LaSpina, born in Sicily, was born with polio. LaSpina is very open, and while you will be so in awe of her strength and determination, you’ll be so angry at what she’s had to endure.

Book Jacket: Yolk

yolk by Mary H. K. Choi

Sisters Jayne and June moved from Seoul to The United States together, and now in college, have no relationship with each other. A cancer diagnosis brings the sisters back together, and they find themselves facing much more than cancer. This is a great read for older teens and adults, but please heed the trigger warnings.

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