“In Search of Peace”: Refugee Experiences in Children’s Literature

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The authors closely analyzed 45 children's books featuring characters with refugee backgrounds that had been published since 2013. With the concept of culturally sustaining pedagogy underpinning the review, analysis revealed that these texts are rich and detailed, providing a starting point for discussing the global refugee crisis with students, but they occasionally fall short in providing complex, multidimensional representations of characters’ lives and experiences. A majority of the texts analyzed focus on the journey in search of a safe place to live, whereas very few focus on the complexity of making a life in a new place. The findings highlight the importance of identifying texts that provide complexity, dimension, and specificity in depicting experiences of refugee‐background characters across settings. Opening classrooms to texts about the diversity of refugee experiences invites teachers and their students to critically explore the important global issues of migration, equity, and ways of being human.