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Useful Links

Recommended fiction teacher notes for primary and secondary schools by Amnesty International has notes for fiction books on human rights themes, including several relating to refugees

Books about refugees and asylum seekers for young people as recommended by BookTrust
9 Books about refugees and Migration for children aged 6-8 recommended by the Scottish Book Trust

List of Fiction Books

KS = Key Stage

KS1= 5-7 yrs old

KS2 = 7-11yrs old

KS 3 = 11-14yrs old

KS4=  14-16yrs old

New releases 

Boy 87 – Ele Fountain 

BOY 87 transports us into the world of one child refugee, fourteen-year-old Shif – bringing to life and giving humanity to the thousands of children forced to flee their homes every day. Seen through his eyes, BOY 87 is Shif’s moving and challenging adventure in search of a better life. For readers aged 10+


Little Bird Flies – Karen McCombie 

The first book in a gripping, dramatic new series set during the Scottish clearances of the 19th century. Little Bird Flies classroom resource pack for age 9+ available to download from Nosy Crow here

A Picture Book of Anne Frank  – David D. Adler

Amina’s Blanket – Helen Dunmore

Bilingual Folk Tales                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

A series of colourful illustrated books, each telling a popular folk tale from a different country, matching the English translation against the tale told in its original language. Suitable for early years and primary schools.Each book carries details of the country where the folk tale originated

Boy Overboard (Football and Afghan refugees moving to Australia) – Morris Gleitzma

Dia’s Story Cloth (Picture Book – China to Thailand) – Dia Cha

Kosovan Journeys (Big Book) – Howard Davies & Jill Rutter

My Name was Hussein – Hristo Kyuchukov                                                                                                                                                                         

Illustrated story sharing the life of a young Roma boy in Bulgaria, who is forced to give up his identity and his name as a result of government oppression. Suitable for ages 7 – 11.

Petar’s Song (Picture Book) – Pratima Mitchell                                                                                                                 

Beautifully illustrated story of family separation caused by war. Suitable for ages 7 – 11.

Playing War – Kathy Beckwith                                                                                                                                                    

Illustrated story about understanding what war can be like for families, and that war is not a game. It’s also a sensitive story about the power of friendship and how children can learn from one another. Suitable for ages 7 – 11.

Ten Thousand Bowls of Soup – Ross Frowen                                                                                                                                           

A poetic picture book encouraging children to engage with adults on the vitally important migrant issue that is beginning to define the times in which we live.

The Colour of Home – Mary Hoffman                                                                                                                                                     

The story of Hassan’s first day at an English school, after his family flee the war in Somalia. It describes his sadness, and how the school helps him to feel welcome and settled. A beautiful picture book, suitable for ages 5 – 11.

The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan

The Librarian of Basra – Jeanette Winter                                                                                                                                                

The true story about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s priceless collection of books during the war in Iraq. Beautifully illustrated and inspiring. suitable for ages 5 – 11

The Silver Path – Christine Harris, Helen Ong

The Whispering Cloth (Picture Book -Thailand) – Pegi Deitz Shea

Zlata’s Diary – Zlata Filipovic                                                                                                                                                                      

Real diary of a young girl trapped in Sarajevo when war broke out in 1992. For nearly 2 years she recorded how war touched her daily life and robbed her of her childhood. Very useful for Years 5 – 9, particularly in comparison with Anne Franks’ Diary.


A Fight to Belong – Alan Gibbons

And The Stars Were Gold – Gaye Hiςyilmaz

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

Girl of Kosovo – Alice Mead

Hitler’s Daughter – Jackie French

Home Is A Place Called Nowhere – Leon Rosselson

‘Amina has run away from the only home she has ever known. Alone and frightened, she is determined to find her real mother.’ The story of a young refugee’sattempt to find her real story.

Lost For Words (A newcomer from Bangladesh) – Elizabeth Lu

No Guns for Asmir – Christobel Mattingley

Number the Stars – Lois Lowry

On the Run (civil war) – Elizabeth Laird

One Day We Had to Run – Sybella Wilkes

Out of the Flames (Africa & Ireland) – Vincent McDonnell
Parvana’s Journey (sequel to The Breadwinner) – Deborah Ellis
Pictures from the Fire (Roma) – Gaye Hiςyilmaz
Refugee Boy – Benjamin Zephaniah                                                                                                                                                        
The story of Alem, a 14 year old refugee who has come to live in England. His mother is Eritrean and his father Ethiopian, and with both countries at war, he is welcome in neither place. A thought provoking book, useful for discussion in year 6, and for teacher background information.

Samik and Yonatan (Israel/Palestine) – Daniella Cakmi

Smiling for Strangers (escaping from the former Yugoslavia) – Gaye Hiçyilmaz

Somali Journeys                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The Breadwinner (A girl’s life under Taliban rule) – Deborah Ellis

The Cinnamon Tree (Landmine victim) – Aubrey Flegg

The Frozen Waterfall (From Turkey to Switzerland) – Gaye Hiςyilma

The Kites Are Flying – Michael Morpurgo

The Other Side of Truth – Beverly Naidoo

A fast and vivid account of a family’s flight from threat and murder seen through the eyes of 12 year old Sade and her 10 year old brother Femi. It traces their frightening experiences in both Nigeria and England.

The Silver Sword – Ian Serraillier

The Unforgotten Coat – Frank Cottrell Boyce

Too Black Too Strong – Benjamin Zephaniah

Waiting for Anya – Michael Morpurgo

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr

Year Of No Rain (Sudan) – Alice Mead


Adem’s Cross – Alice Mead

AK – Peter Dickinson
Deeply sympathetic story of a boy soldier in a fictional African country. Raises many questions about war and rebellion. Suitable for ages 11 and above.

Alpha – Bessora, Illustrated by Barroux

Dark Parties – Sara Grant

Dreamland – Lily Hyde

Girl in Red (Roma) – Gaye Hiςyilmaz                                                                                                                                                         A booklet of memories collected from asylum seeker and refugee families in the local area. It has some ideas for classroom use and has teacher perspectives with in it.

Hana’ s Suitcase – Karen                                                                                                                                                                                      A biography of a Czech girl who died in the Holocaust, told in alternating chapters with an account of how the curator of a Japanese holocaust Centre learned about her life, after Hana’s suitcase was sent to her. Moving and beautifully told.

Levine Little Soldier – Bernard Ashley

My Forbidden Face (Growing Up Under the Taliban) – Latifa

Only a Matter of Time (Albanian & Serb teenagers become friends) – Stewart Ross

Playing With Fire (Mozambique) – Henning Mankell

Run (On the run from immigration & the past) – Farrukh Dhondy

Secrets in the Fire (Mozambique) – Henning Mankell

Shadow – Micheal Murpurgo

The Bone Sparrow – Zana Fraillon

The Road From Rome (Turkey/Armenia early 20th century) – David Kherdian

Voices Of Silence – Bel Mooney

Zoya’s Story – Zoya with John Follain & Rita Cristofari