The Stories We Share:

About the Project:
This database, made possible by the generous funding through the 2015 ALA Carnegie-Whitney Grant, is intended as a curricular, reference, and collection development tool for classroom teachers, school and public librarians, and other professionals (especially health care providers). It attempts to fill a gap in existing resources on multiculturalism by offering a guide focused closely on the experience of first- and second-generation immigrant children and teens in the United States, as this experience is reflected in award-winning preK-12 fiction and non-fiction. As documented in research, first- and second-generation immigrant children and teens can be at an increased risk of experiencing identity confusion, self-depreciation, and a low self-concept due to the intergenerational and intercultural conflicts and the corresponding feeling of isolation they often struggle with. Therefore, it is important to provide them with opportunities to see their own experiences mirrored in the experiences of others. Fictional and non-fictional characters they can identify with offer that opportunity. Available books on multicultural literature, given their breadth, generally do not make it easy for educators to quickly locate such characters. Correspondingly, Ladislava Khailova, the author of this guide, surveyed the vast terrain of award-winning children’s literature (around 125 awards and honors were considered so far) to carefully select, annotate, and index recent monographic titles featuring predominantly a first- or second-generation immigrant child or teen as a narrator or main character, allowing ease of identification to the young reader. Titles published in the United States and Canada between 1980 and 2015 and focusing on the twentieth or twenty-first century immigrant experience were considered.

The guide is structured primarily around the lead immigrant character national/ethnic/religious affiliation, gender, and immigrant generation as these are likely to constitute key points of identification for the young readers. Additional organizing principles involve the book genre, reader grade level, and historic period covered. A single Keyword/Phrase search (title, author, and annotation) is also enabled.

To cite this guides, please consider using the following format:
Khailova, L. (2016). The Stories We Share: Database of PreK-12 Books on the Experience of Immigrant Children and Teens in the U.S. Retrieved from
Khailova, Ladislava. The Stories We Share: Database of PreK-12 Books on the Experience of Immigrant Children and Teens in the U.S. NIU, 2016, Accessed [Date].
About the Author:
Dr. Ladislava Khailova is Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, serving as the University Libraries’ Education Subject Specialist and Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities. Her research interests gravitate towards the historical and cultural factors that shape constructions of the social other, be it in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, or disability. She has published articles on various genres of twentieth-century American literature as well as on academic librarianship. Khailova selected, annotated, and indexed all books included in this guide. She can be reached at

Special thanks to Gail Jacky, the Director of the Northern Illinois University Writing Center, for proofreading all entries.
About the Web Designer:
Praveen Oonkar Vatrapu is a computer science graduate student at Northern Illinois University influenced by modeling data-driven visual insights and publishing on web. When he is not solving new problems, he will spend his time following new tech trends and paying attention to his X-Box. He can be reached at

Special thanks to Steffen Scharmacher, NIU Libraries' IT Associate, for sharing his expertise throughout the project.