Books and Resources - K-12

This page is for K-12 level resources. Click here for college resources.

Historical Narratives
The Great Migration: An American Story
The Great Migration
Jacob Lawrence
Noted artist tells the story of the African migration to the north in a series of 60 paintings and telling captions. In his work, Lawrence speaks of the unjust, discriminatory, and poverty-stricken southern region and the hopeful opportunity-filled northern areas of the country.

The Circuit
The Circuit (Cajas de Carton)
Francisco Jimenez
A collection of interrelated stories about the author’s childhood experience as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. The book captures the voice of Panchito and the hardships he and his family faced while trying to survive in a world that differed from what they knew and expected.

Color Me Dark: The Story of Nellie Love and the Great Migration
Color Me Dark: The Story of Nellie Love and the Great Migration
Patricia McKissack
When 11-year old Nellie Love moves with her family from the rural south to Chicago after World War I, she discovers that the North has its own insidious brand of racism. Through the strength of her family and the teachings of W.E.B. Dubois and Marcus Garvey, Nellie turns her story into one of hope and triumph.
La Mariposa
La Mariposa
Francisco Jimenez
In this semi-autobiographical story, a young immigrant boy from Mexico deals with confusion and isolation in his American first-grade classroom, where he has difficulty understanding the teacher's words and relating to his classmates. Illustrated by Simon Silva.
Going North
Going North
Janice Harrington

An African-American family moves from Alabama to Nebraska in the 1960s. Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrique.
Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising
Pam Muñoz Ryan
Forced to leave their world of wealth and privilege in Mexico, Esperanza and her mother begin working in the back-breaking agricultural industry of California. Not only does Esperanza need to assimilate to a new country, but she must now learn to deal with a different socioeconomic status.
God Bless the Child
God Bless the Child
Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog, Jerry Pinkney
The lyrics to the classic swing spiritual by Holiday and Herzog are interpreted here by illustrator Jerry Pinkney, as a black family moves from the cotton fields of the south to the northern city of Chicago.
América is Her Name
América Is Her Name
Luis Rodriguez
A Mexican-Indian girl, living illegally in a Chicago barrio, struggles with her intolerant teachers and violent community, finally finding her voice through poetry.
La Línea
La Línea
Ann Jaramillo
Miguel and Elena's mother and father left Mexico and crossed la línea into California.On the morning of Miguel's 15th birthday, he receives a note from his father telling him that it is time for him to join them. Unbeknownst to Miguel, Elena, 13, disguises herself and joins him on the difficult journey. They are robbed, threatened, and almost perish in a desperate trek across the desert.
La Línea
The House on Mango Street
Sandra Cisneros
This critically acclaimed classic, beloved by children and adults around the worlds, tells the story of Esperanza Cordova, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. Beautifully constructed vignettes consisting of poetry and prose will enrich the lives of new readers young and old.

Resources for Teaching
Line Between Us
Line Between Us
Bill Bigelow
Explores the history of U.S-Mexican relations and the roots of Mexican immigration, all in the context of the global economy. This book shows how teachers can help students understand the immigrant experience and the drama of border life.
Chicago Public Schools Logo
Social Science Content Framework, v 3.0
Created for use in Chicago Public Schools, this framework has been designed specifically to allow flexibility in the actual design and teaching of specific social science units, as well as provide coherence across the district with grade‐level content and demonstrate how the critical skills can be implemented as students progress through the grade levels and prepare for their post‐secondary education.

Resource Suggestions

Our project resources are continually expanding. We welcome your suggestions for additional resources to be included. Please, fill out the form below. In the comments section please include the following: title, author, brief descripiton grade level. Thank you for your feedback!


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March 23, 2015
NYT's new interactive Mapping Migrations tool shows where people in each state were born with data from 1900, 1950 and 2012!

March 20, 2015
Curriculum Modules Updates:
Latino Migrations (college level)

Describe Latino Populations (middle school)

Introduction to Reading Census Maps

March 1, 2015
Chicago Election Results in Relation to 2013 School Closings

February 27, 2015
GIS Map Shows Chicago Election Results

10 Steps for Using Social Explorer YouTube tutorial is here! Check it out here!

Featured Artifact
Cooper Center Racial Dot Map
One Dot Per Person: the Cooper Center's Racial Dot Map

The map displays one dot for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual's race and ethnicity.