Friday Feature: The Refugee Experience in YA and Children’s Literature

Chachaji's Cup Refugee Children's LiteratureThere has been an explosion of young adult (YA) fiction in recent years, much of it also popular with adult readers.  A friend of mine who is a children’s librarian has given me some great childrens and YA books over the years.  When I asked her for ideas for a Friday Feature, Lucinda the librarian shot back a quick email response with this great list of picture and chapter books about the refugee experience through the eyes of young refugees published by The University of Arizona College of Education.

I like that many of the selections talk about refugees who resettled in other countries, as well as the US.  The one in the picture, Chachaji’s Cup,  features refugees from the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.  Some of them focus on life in refugee camps or on the run.  Others show life for refugees in Australia and the UK.  They definitely include all  of the diverse experiences and cultures we work with on a daily basis.

Employment professionals don’t often have much direct interaction with children since they aren’t entering the workforce.  But these books address all kinds of issues we do encounter every day – generation gaps, memories of home, overcoming trauma, feeling isolated.  We all see how refugee children become the bridge for their families to begin to engage in school and other community resources.  Maybe citizen children can also become the conduits for deepening community awareness among the adults in their lives?  Employers, co-workers or other community allies for our employment work are also parents.


(Every Friday we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

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