Books about refugees and asylum seekers (younger children)

The Colour of Home

Since asylum can be a confusing issue for children (and even adults), here are some books that explore what it really means to flee your home and have to start your life over.

These books are mainly aimed at younger children.

Check out our list for older children

Check out our list for teenagers

  • Wisp: A Story of Hope

    Author: Zana Fraillon and Grahame Baker Smith
    Publisher: Orchard
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    A haunting and immersive story of hope in the darkest of places, this picture book tells younger readers about a child's life in a refugee camp. 

  • Lily and the Polar Bears

    Author: Jion Sheibani
    Publisher: Faber & Faber
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 5+

    This charming, funny, sweet picture book combines concerns about arctic erosion, animal conservation and immigration in a lovely story about polar bears. It’s sure to be a favourite with little ones, who will love Sheibani's illustration.

  • My Name is not Refugee

    Author: Kate Milner
    Publisher: The Bucket List
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 5+

    When they reach a safe place, a little boy must remember that although children call him Refugee, that is not his real name. Clear, moving illustrations complement this simple, touching book that explains the refugee crisis in an accessible way.

  • The Journey

    Author: Francesca Sanna
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 7-9
    Reading age: 7+

    What is it like to leave everything behind and travel somewhere strange? This incredibly poignant story introduces the concept of refugees with straightforward language, tackling this difficult subject with truth, clarity and strikingly beautiful illustrations.

  • The Silence Seeker

    Author: Ben Morley Illustrator: Carl Pearce
    Publisher: Tamarind
    Interest age: 5+
    Reading age: 7+

    This story explores the vibrancy and diversity of city life through gritty, yet child-friendly illustrations that are beautifully atmospheric and evocative.

  • Azzi in Between

    Author: Sarah Garland
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 6-12
    Reading age: 7

    This is a moving tale of a refugee family told in graphic novel style and so appealing to a wide range of younger readers.

  • The Day War Came

    Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Rebecca Cobb
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 5-8
    Reading age: 6+

    A heartbreaking picture book that perfectly explains the displacement of people, and especially children, in war, and the trauma experienced by people forced to leave their homes. 

  • Ballerina Dreams

    Author: Michaela and Elaine DePrince Illustrator: Ella Okstad
    Publisher: Faber & Faber
    Interest age: 5-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    This heart-warming true story about working hard to achieve your dreams will inspire children to believe that they can be whoever they want to be.

  • Refuge

    Author: Anne Booth Illustrator: Sam Usher
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 5+
    Reading age: 5+

    This beautiful book follows Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus as they flee into Egypt as refugees. The gorgeous drawings and Booth's sparse, poetic words make this a Christmas book to treasure.

  • The Colour of Home

    Author: Mary Hoffman Illustrator: Karin Littlewood
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 5-9
    Reading age: 7+

    On Hassan's first day at school he paints a colourful picture of his home and family in Somalia, but then adds soldiers, flames and bullets.