Mennonite Migrants

Trottier, Maxine. Migrant. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2011.

Anna and her family leave their home in Mexico each spring to travel north. All spring and summer they work on farms before returning to Mexico for the winter. They are part of a group of German-speaking Mennonites who left Canada in the 1920s but now return for part of each year, earning just enough money to survive.

This powerful story encourages readers – and listeners – to think about the life of migrant workers and the role they play in providing food for Canadian and American consumers. An afterword explains the history of these Mennonites who moved to Mexico.

Read a literary analysis of this story HERE.

More stories of migrants HERE.

You, Too, Were Once Strangers

“While every refugee’s story is different and their anguish personal, they all share a common thread of uncommon courage – the courage not only to survive, but to persevere and rebuild their shattered lives.” – Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General

There are many novels about courageous people who helped others during the Holocaust. There are far fewer about brave people who help others today; one of the most powerful is this novel from Britain. 

Halahmy, Miriam. Hidden. New York: Holiday House, 2016.

“Fourteen-year-old Alix is faced with a huge moral dilemma when she helps pull an illegal Iraqi immigrant from the incoming tide on the coastal English island where she lives.” – CIP.  Stories written in present tense from the first-person point of view are frequently tiresome in their self-obsession but this novel is a remarkable exception. Alix has no perfect life and no illusions about her own importance. What she has is the ability to see life from someone else’s point of view. Discovering the horror of life for refugees fleeing torture and seeking asylum opens her heart and reveals her courage in this novel highly recommended for all readers 12 years old and up. [England; Family problems; Friendship; Iraqis; Racism; Refugees; Schools; Secrets]

“For a start, people who traveled for so many miles through such horrific conditions in order to find work cannot accurately be portrayed as lazy benefit-scroungers”. – Patrick Kingsley, British journalist

Find more books about migration and refugees HERE

“I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present.” – Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General

Find information and lessons on human migration HERE.