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5 New Immigration Novels Coming This Year


I am so excited about books! Last year, I started to make more of an effort to read more current releases. I have no problem reading older books (I just finished Wild this week), but I'm also liking the freshness of these recent reads, especially when it comes to immigration.

Thankfully, my friend Katie (who you may remember as my World Cup Wives co-conspirator) is always keeping me in the know with good immigration fiction coming. And there are some good ones being published in 2017 - let's jump into the list!

#1 The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt


This YA romance novel came out in January, and I already wrote a short review. It's the story of 19-year old Phoenix, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, and an American girl named Gretchen. Phoenix is seeking to escape violent threats in his home country, protect his brother, and find a legal way to remain in the U.S. while Gretchen is working through her own experience of trauma. It is a fun story, though difficult realities weave throughout.

#2 Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran 


I am a couple chapters into this one, which also released in January. So good. We meet two women. Soli is a young woman who crosses into the United States from Mexico and finds herself pregnant. Kavya, and Indian American woman, is struggling with infertility. When Soli is sent to immigration detention, her son is cared for by Kavya. The story unpacks the tension of two mothers who love one lucky boy deeply as Soli fights to get him back.

#3 The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui


This book, to be released in March, is a little outside the box. Because it's a graphic novel. Author Thi Bui shares the story of her family escaping Vietnam in the 1970s and the ensuing challenges of building new lives for themselves. She explores their experiences of immigrating and lasting effects of this displacement on her family. Again, this is done through graphic novel illustrations, which may open up this subject matter to a new audience as well. 

#4 Border Child by Michel Stone


Coming in April, Border Child is the harrowing story of a mother separated from her infant daughter while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to meet her husband. Four years later, the couple is back in Mexico but learns of a way they may be able to reunite their family, which now includes a toddler and a baby on the way. The story follows the father's dangerous journey north to find her, while the pregnant mother wrestles with the terrible mistakes from her past. 

#5 The Leavers by Lisa Ko


Okay, here's another one about children being separated from parents. (How will I stand to read these beautiful, haunting stories?) Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to work one day and never comes home, leaving her 11-year old alone. He is then adopted by a couple who changes his name and seeks to transform him into their "all-American boy." It's a story of belonging, community, mistakes, and identity. Here's an article about the true stories that inspired this novel, to be released in May.

I hope you found a book or two that makes your "To Read" list. If you struggle to find time to read, I will always recommend Audible, which has changed my life forever. I listen to audio books while I'm running, driving to pick up the kids, loading the dishwasher, and so many other things. If you want a free trial, use my Amazon link, and you'll get 2 free books!

P.S. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post, which means if you click through and purchase one of my recommendations, I receive a small kickback. Thanks so much!

What books are you looking forward to in 2017? What immigration stories do I need to be looking out for? Let me know!

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