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					                                                                                  Families in Transition

                Using Literature to Help Children in Transition

Grades              K-5
Painted Words and Spoken Memories:
                                 by Aliki

         This book has been designed in two parts. The first part of this book is entitled
         Painted Words. When Mari and her family move from Greece to America, she is
         nervous about going to her new school because she doesn’t speak any English.

Gila Monsters Meet you at the Airport:
                                    by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

         While written in a humorous way, this story explores the fears children have about
         moving to a new place. It begins in New York City with a young boy whose family is
         moving out West.

Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move:
                                  by Judith Viorst

         Alexander’s dad is taking a new job, and the family has to move. While everyone else
         in the family, including Alexander’s two older brothers, has accepted the idea of
         moving, Alexander has not. In fact, he maintains throughout the story that he will not
         move, no matter what!

Scrumpy:                                by Elizabeth Dale

         Ben’s dog Scrumpy, is a special friend. They go everywhere together. One day
          Scrumpy gets sick and soon dies. This story sensitively describes Ben’s feelings of
         grief and loss.

Stellaluna:                             by Janell Cannon

         Stellaluna is a fruit bat who becomes separated from her mother on night and falls into
         a bird nest. Left to live with the birds, she adapts to their way of life, and learns to fly
         by day and eat bugs.

Grandfather’s Journey:                  by Allen Say

         This biographical picture book tells the story of how, as a young man Allen Say’s
         grandfather left his native country of Japan to travel throughout the United States

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                                                                                Families in Transition

When I was young in the Mountains:
                                        by Cynthia Rylant

         The author reminisces about her childhood growing up in the Appalachian Mountains
         in the United States.

Little blue and little yellow:         by Leo Lionni

         Little blue has many friends of different colors, but his best friend is little yellow.
         They play together and sit next to each other in school. One day they hug each other
         until they become green, and their parents no longer recognize them.

Mrs. Katz and Tush:                    by Patricia Polacco

         Mrs. Katz is an elderly Polish widow who Larnel and his mother visit daily. Even
         though Larnel’s family and Mrs. Katz are from two different cultures, their friendship
         is strong through the common bonds they share.

Grades                  K–2
A New Home for Tiger:                  by Joan Stimson

         Tiger and his Mom are moving! At first Tiger is eager to move, but when they arrive
         at their new home, everything is unfamiliar. Tiger longs to “go home” and when he
         does, he finds that the old home is now just an empty house. He begins to realize that
         “home” can mean different things.

We are Best Friends:                    by Aliki

         Robert and Peter are best friends and when Peter moves away, Robert is sad and
         lonely. Both boys eventually make a new friend, but they don’t forget each other and
         keep in touch through letters.

Best Friends Together Again:           by Aliki (grades K-5)

         This book is the delightful sequel to We Are Best Friends. In this story, Robert and
         Peter are reunited when Peter comes to visit for two weeks.

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                                                                                 Families in Transition

Grades             3–5
Sarah, Plain and Tall:                  by Patricia MacLachlan

         This story is set in the late 19th century in the midwestern part of the United States. A
         widowed farmer advertises in the newspaper for a wife and mother for his two
         children Anna, and Caleb. When Sarah arrives for a month’s trial period, she is
         homesick for Maine, and especially misses the sea, which she dearly loves.

Dandelions: by Eve Bunting

         This is a story of westward movement and a family who leaves their home in Illinois
         to stake a claim out on the Nebraska prairie.

Amber Brown is Not a Crayon:            by Paula Danziger

         Amber Brown and Justin Daniels are two third graders who have been best friends
         since preschool. They help each other, stick up for each other and have great fun
         together. When Justin learns he is moving to Alabama, their relationship begins to

The Kid in the Red Jacket:              by Leo Lionni

         Howard Jeeter cannot believe it: He is going to be the new kid! Howard and his
         family are moving across the country from Arizona to Massachusetts, and he is
         convinced they are ruining his life. As the story unfolds, Howard learns about empathy
         and friendship, and the process of adjusting to life in a new place.

Grades 4 – 5
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson:
                                     by Bette Bao Lord

         This is a story of a young girl who leaves her native China to come and live in
         Brooklyn, New York in 1947.

Seedfolks:                              by Paul Fleischman

         This story involves 13 different characters that come into each other’s lives because of
         a vacant lot in an inner city section of Cleveland, Ohio, where they all live.

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                                                                             Families in Transition

Grade 5
Bloomability:                          by Sharon Creech

         Dinnie knows about change! She and her family constantly move from state to
         state as her father seeks out yet another new job opportunity. But when her Aunt
         Sandy and Uncle Max arrange for her to attend an international school in Lugano,
         Switzerland, where her uncle has been appointed the new headmaster, Dinnie is not
         sure this is for her.

Beyond the Mango Tree:                 by Amy Bronwen Zemser

         Sarina is an American girl whose family has moved from Boston, Massachusetts, to
         the country of Liberia in Africa. Sarina meets Boima, a local boy who becomes her
         trusted friend. Together they often explore the world outside the boundaries of the
         “mango tree”, and Sarina comes to understand the meaning of true friendship.

**Please Note:          This book list was compiled from the book titled “New Kid in School”
                        by Debra Rader and Linda Harris Sittig

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