Tag Archives: immigration

In the Country We Love

In the Country We Love

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
272 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-13496-7 


En el país que amamos: Mi familia divida
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-62779-833-4

My Family Divided

Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford

“[Guerrero] writes frankly and affectingly about how she made her way on her own; she also shares fond memories of her family’s life together in America.”—The Washington Post 

Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family. In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven’t been told. Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author’s and on a system that fails them over and over.

© Stocks Photography

© Marcus Branch

Diane Guerrero is an actress on the hit shows Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. She volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center, as well as with Mi Familia Vota, an organization that promotes civic involvement. She has been named an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization by the White House. She lives in New York City.

Michelle Burford is a founding editor of  O, The Oprah Magazine and writer of many best-selling books including memoirs by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, singer Toni Braxton, and Cleveland kidnap survivor Michelle Knight.

In the Country We Love has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Bethel College; California State University – East Bay; Metropolitan State University of Denver

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

Flatiron Books
Hardcover
288 pages • $25.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-10599-8

The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel

One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival

Melissa Fleming

With an author interview with Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton 

“This deeply affecting book recounts the story of a young Syrian, Doaa Al Zamel . . . Fleming brings a moral urgency to the narrative. Doaa is now safe in Sweden, but Fleming pointedly asks, ‘Why is there no massive resettlement program for Syrians—the victims of the worst war of our times?'”   —The New Yorker 

Melissa Fleming shares the harrowing journey of Doaa Al Zamel, a young Syrian refugee in search of a better life. Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt to flee for Europe, joining the ranks of the thousands of refugees who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean on overcrowded and run-down ships to seek asylum overseas and begin a new life. After four days at sea, their boat is sunk by another boat filled with angry men shouting threats and insults. With no land in sight and surrounded by bloated, floating corpses, Doaa is adrift with a child’s inflatable water ring around her waist, while two little girls cling to her neck. Doaa must stay alive for them. She must not lose strength. She must not lose hope.

© Alessandra Thomsen

Melissa Fleming is Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and one of the world’s experts on refugees. She is a frequent contributor for The New York TimesThe Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is her first book.

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-53498-1


Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-28450-3

Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Joshua Davis

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

Spare Parts is a delightful book . . . Davis writes well, and he keeps his plot moving swiftly . . . A great American story.”—Peter Carlson, The Washington Post

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did.

They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

“It’s the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar—and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them.”—Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey 

“This is important reading . . . Young adults will benefit from from reading and discussing this realistic, eye-opening chronicle . . . Davis pulls no punches as he describes the grim sociopolitical atmosphere that allows the oppression of talented people for no morally acceptable reason. The four young inventors and their struggles helped spur the DREAMers movement.”—Donna Chavez, Booklist (starred review)

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.”Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”Publishers Weekly

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired and a cofounder of Epic magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

Spare Parts has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); The Browning School (NY); Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Hesston College (KS); Hood College (MD); Johns Hopkins University (MD); Kansas State University; Lafayette Public Library and School District (LA); Lewis University (IL); Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MO); Miami University (OH); Monroe Community College (NY); Nash Community College (NC); North Iowa Area Community College; North Lake College (TX); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Pasadena City College (CA); Providence College (RI); Rutgers University, Honors College (NJ); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; Stony Brook University (NY); University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

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The Song Poet

The Song Poet

Henry Holt and Co.
Paperback
288 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-13188-1

A Memoir of My Father

Kao Kalia Yang

“[A] remarkable book . . . The Song Poet reaffirms Yang’s status as an exceptional storyteller, one whose work reminds us that big, timeless truths reveal themselves when we pay attention to small, specific details.”—The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses; extemporizing or drawing on folk tales, he keeps the past alive, invokes the spirits and the homeland, and records courtships, births, weddings, and wishes. Kao Kalia Yang now retells the life of her father Bee Yang, the song poet, a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by American’s Secret War. Bee lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other, whispering the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. But the songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project and on the factory floor until, with the death of Bee’s mother, the songs leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has polished a life of poverty for his children, burnished their grim reality so that they might shine. The Song Poet is a love story—of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost.

© Shee Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, which was a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award and the Asian American Literary Award, and received the 2009 Minnesota Book Award. Her work has been published in the Virginia Quarterly and Longreads. She lives in Minnesota.

The Book of Isaias

The Book of Isaias

St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover
272 pages • $26.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-08306-7

A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America

Daniel Connolly

“The Book of Isaias is a compassionate and well-told tale from Tennessee. Daniel Connolly has placed his reporting muscles at the service of a hard-working Mexican family and their smart son, and borne witness to their noble struggles.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

In a green town in the middle of America, a bright 18-year-old Hispanic student named Isaias Ramos sets out on the journey to college. Isaias is the hope of Kingsbury High in Memphis, a school where many students have difficulty reading. But Kingsbury’s dysfunction, expensive college fees, and forms printed in a language that’s foreign to his parents are all obstacles in the way of getting him to a university. Isaias also doubts the value of college and says he might go to work in his family’s painting business after high school, despite his academic potential. Is Isaias making a rational choice? Or does he simply hope to avoid pain by deferring dreams that may not come to fruition? This is what journalist Daniel Connolly attempts to uncover in The Book of Isaias as he follows Isaias, peers into a tumultuous final year of high school, and, eventually, shows how adults intervene in the hopes of changing Isaias’s life. Every day, children of immigrants make decisions about their lives that will shape our society and economy for generations. This engaging, poignant book captures an American microcosm and illustrates broader challenges for our collective future.

© Jacobo Parra

Daniel Connolly has reported on Mexican immigration to the U.S. South for several news organizations, including the Associated Press and The Commercial Appeal (Memphis). The winner of numerous journalism prizes, he has received grants and fellowships from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Center for Journalists, and the Fulbright program. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.