For many people and families, pursing the lengthy and complex journey of becoming a U.S. Citizen is an important milestone. There are many benefits to becoming a citizen, including civic participation, the right to vote and, overall, more opportunities for a safer and healthier life. These benefits also extend to receiving communities, as many immigrants enrich and invest in their communities.
CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration has added to last year’s book list on books to read with children. These books touch on the importance of diversity and the journeys families make to become U.S. citizens. This year, we included several book recommendations for the adult reader and a short Netflix documentary!
For more information on Citizenship Day, online tools and materials, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services page.
Books for young readers:
I Pledge Allegiance
Written by Pat Mora
Many U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance after being sworn in as citizens.
“Mom and I will go with my great aunt to a special place. She will say the Pledge of Allegiance, and she will become a citizen of the United States.”
W is for Welcome: A Celebration of America’s Diversity
Written by Brad Herzog
Did you know Albert Einstein was a naturalized citizen? Follow this alphabet book to read about the land of the free and the many people who contributed to make the United States “a dreamer’s destination.”
“A is for America, a dreamer’s destination, made up of people who are here due to immigration.”
A Very Important Day
Written by Maggie Rugg Herold
As snow begins to fall, 11 families, all from different countries, trek through New York City to take their oath of citizenship!
“This has become our country on this very important day.”
Books for adult readers:
Democracy in America
Written by Alexis de Tocqueville
Many immigrants and refugees flee their home countries to escape political persecution. Others seek refuge in the United States because of our democratic values and will to help others in need.
Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish Speaking United States
Written by Héctor Tobar
Tobar begins with his family’s story of growing up in Los Angeles and interpreting the “American identity” through a Latin American lens. He reflects on two different paths taken by his brothers. As one pursues his U.S. citizenship, the other goes down a complex and unlawful path. Meanwhile, Tobar explores the country and is confronted by “familiar complexities.”
The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence: The Constitution of the United States of America
Written by The Founding Fathers
The backbone of the United States government — all citizens should have this book on their list!
Out Of Many, One: The Immigrant’s Story
Watch on Netflix
“True to its founding Identity, the United States is still a nation of immigrants.” Follow the journey of a group of people, who represent the rich diversity of immigrates in the United States, as they prepare to become U.S. citizens.