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11 Must-Read Immigrant Books for Summer

Boundless' roundup of what to read this summer - with an immigration twist

Jun 4, 2024

Reading at the Beach

Summer is the perfect time to unwind with a good book. Whether you’re looking for a new novel for an upcoming vacation or a picture book to share with loved ones, Boundless has got you covered. We’ve rounded up our favorite immigrant-themed books for you to enjoy this summer:

Long Island

Oprah’s latest Book Club pick, Long Island, is the sequel to Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. Set 20 years later, it follows Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey in New York as she faces a shocking betrayal that makes her question where her true home is.

Somewhere We Are Human

In the heated debate about immigration, we often overlook the humanity of those at its center. This anthology, Somewhere We Are Human, features essays, poetry, and art by undocumented or formerly undocumented migrants, aiming to shift the conversation toward one of humanity and justice. Through their storytelling, they offer nuanced portraits of their lives, their choices, and their hopes for a future beyond borders.

The East Indian

Looking for a gripping summer read? Check out The East Indian, a historical fiction novel by literary scholar Brinda Charry. The story draws inspiration from historical archives to reimagine the life of the first Indian immigrant to arrive in 17th century America.

Owner of a Lonely Heart

At the end of the Vietnam War, Beth Nguyen and her family fled to America, leaving her mother behind. Owner of a Lonely Heart is a memoir about parenthood, absence, and being a refugee, detailing Beth’s relationship with her mother through brief and interrupted visits over the years.

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Baseball, Nazis & Nedick’s Hot Dogs: Growing Up Jewish in the 1930s in Newark

In his memoir, veteran sportswriter Jerry Izenberg shares his story of growing up in a Jewish immigrant family and how his father’s baseball career helped shape the trajectory of his life. “He had given me a lifetime gift — a simple game and a simple shared love for it,” Izenberg writes.

American Dirt

This novel by Jeanine Cummins tells the story of Lydia Quixano Pérez, a Mexican librarian who flees her home with her young son after her husband is murdered by a drug cartel. The book has been praised for its unflinching portrayal of the dangers faced by immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi tells the story of two half-sisters, one who is sold into slavery and the other who is raised in freedom. The book spans two centuries and three continents, and it offers a powerful and moving look at the legacy of slavery.

The Other Americans

Winner of the Arab American Book Award in Fiction, The Other Americans explores the lives of four Moroccan immigrants in Southern California. The novel dives deep into the complex challenges of assimilation, the importance of community, and the power of love.


This renowned novel by Min Jin Lee is beloved by many readers for a reason! Pachinko tells the story of a Korean family who immigrates to Japan in the early 1900s. The book spans four generations and three countries, and it offers a sweeping and unforgettable look at the Korean diaspora.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

This coming-of-age story by Junot Díaz explores themes of race, ethnicity, and immigration. Get an intimate look at a Dominican-American family living in New York City and how growing up in a multicultural environment shapes your life in unexpected ways.