As the present global refugee crisis continues to surge—with more than a million migrants fleeing war from not only Syria, but across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe—efforts to both explain and humanize the experience for young readers are proliferating on publishers’ latest lists. Here we gather some recent and forthcoming titles—ranging from picture books to YA, fiction and nonfiction—related to refugees and their experiences.

The Journey

By Francesca Sanna (Sept. 13, 2016, hardcover, $17.95, Flying Eye, ISBN 978-1-909263-99-4).

A mother and two children are forced to flee their war-torn homeland, in this debut picture book inspired by Sanna’s interviews with migrants from around the world.


By Rebecca Young, illus. by Matt Ottley (Oct. 4, 2016, Dial, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-7352-2777-4).

In this picture book, a boy in a rowboat searches for a new home, despite many obstacles along the way. 

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey

By Margriet Ruurs, trans. by Falah Raheem, illus. by Nizar Ali Badr (Oct. 18, 2016, Orca, hardcover, $20, ISBN 978-1-4598-1490-5).

A refugee family’s trek through Europe is the focus of this bilingual Arabic and English picture book. 

Calling the Water Drum

By LaTisha Redding, illus. by Aaron Boyd (Dec. 31, 2016, Lee & Low, hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-62014-194-6).

This picture book tells the story of a young Haitian immigrant, who lost his parents during the journey to America.

My Beautiful Birds

By Suzanne Del Rizzo (Mar. 8, hardcover, $17.95, Pajama Press, 978-1-77278-010-9).

Del Rizzo’s mixed media illustrations illuminate the story of a young Syrian refugee learning to cope with all he has had to leave behind.

One Good Thing About America

By Ruth Freeman (Mar. 21, hardcover, $16.95, Holiday House, ISBN 978-0-8234-3695-8).

In this middle grade novel, a nine-year-old narrator muses humorously on the differences between the Africa in which she was born and the America in which she now lives.

Where Will I Live?

By Rosemary McCarney (Apr. 4, hardcover, $19.95, Second Story, ISBN 978-1-77260-028-5).

McCarney documents child refugees from around the world in this extended photo essay.

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees

By Mary Beth Leatherdale and Eleanor Shakespeare (Apr. 11, Annick, paperback, $12.95 ISBN 978-1-55451-895-1; hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-55451-896-8).

This illustrated middle-grade book offers a composite portrait of the struggles of 20th- and 21st-century boat refugees.

The Treasure Box

By Margaret Wild, illus. by Freya Blackwood (Apr. 25, Candlewick, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-9084-7).

Wild and Blackwood document how two generations are influenced by what refugees choose to carry with them when all else is lost.

The Lines We Cross

By Randa Abdel-Fattah (May 9, HarperCollins/Tegen, hardcover, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-338-11866-7).

In this YA novel set in Australia, two teens—one an Afghan refugee, the other an Australian nationalist—spar then seek to find common ground.

How Dare the Sun Rise

By Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta (May 9, HarperCollins/Tegen, hardcover, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-338-11866-7).

Uwiringiyimana’s memoir tells the story of her flight from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where her family faced political and ethnic warfare


By Alan Gratz (July 25, Scholastic Press, hardcover, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-545-88083-1).

Gratz’s YA novel follows three refugees—a Jewish boy in Nazi Germany, a Cuban girl in 1994, and a Syrian boy in 2015—who are all in search of peace.

Refugees and Migrants

By Ceri Roberts and Hanane Kai (Aug. 1, Barron’s, hardcover, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-4380-5020-1).

This nonfiction picture book answers common questions about refugees and their experiences. 

A Different Pond

By Bao Phi, illus. by Thi Bui (Aug. 1, Capstone, hardcover, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-62370-803-0).

Phi’s autobiographical picture book in verse explores the struggles of a Vietnamese immigrant family.

Lost and Found Cat

By Doug Kuntz, Amy Shrodes, Sue Cornelison (Jan. 31, Crown, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-5247-1547-2).

This picture book tells the true story of a cat separated from his family as they fled from Iraq, and their emotional reunion.

Kunkush: The True Story of a Refugee Cat

By Marne Ventura and Beidi Guo (Aug. 1, Capstone, hardcover, $28.65, ISBN 978-1-5157-7319-1).

In another title about the lost cat, Ventura and Guo bring this true story of a refugee family to life using the Common Core approach.

Pablo and Birdy

By Alison McGhee, illus. by Ana Juan. (Aug. 22, S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-7026-1).

In this middle grade novel, Pablo confronts his frustration with his lost history as he comes of age after migrating as a baby. 


By Harriet Brundle (Oct. 1, Booklife, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-78637-024-2).

This nonfiction picture book answers children’s questions about refugees with photographs and a case study of a Syrian family.

Escape from Aleppo

By N.H. Senzai (Jan. 2, hardcover, $16.99, S&S/Wiseman, ISBN 978-1-4814-7217-3).

When the Arab Spring sparks a civil war in her native country Syria, Nadia and her family are forced to leave their home in Aleppo.

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

By Atia Abawi (Jan. 23, hardcover, $17.99, Philomel, ISBN 978-0-399-54683-9).

When bombs fall on his Syrian hometown, a teen embarks on a journey that takes him to Raqqa, Istanbul, and finally Greece.