The USA 

The Norwegian Emigrant Museum - at Hamar in Norway
The Immigrant Experience in Fiction
Suggested Titles: Adult and Upper Secondary*
Suggested Titles: Lower & Upper Secondary*



Published with the permission of
Ken Luebbering
Fulbright Professor of American Studies
University of Bergen




Suggested Titles: Adult and Upper Secondary*

Giants in the Earth, Ole Rølvaag

Norwegian, late 19th c. Classic novel of the prairies, written in Norwegian and originally published in Oslo.

The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

Lithuanian, Chicago, 1900.

Accordion Crimes, E. Annie Proulx

Wide ranging ethnic groups (Sicilian, African, German, Polish, Norwegian and more), setting includes many US regions, 1890-1990.

The Magic Barrel, Bernard Malamud

Jewish, New York, 1950s.

The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

Chinese, California & China, contemporary.

Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston

Chinese, California & China, contemporary.

Studs Lonigan, James T. Farrell

Irish, Chicago, early 20th c.

The Master Butchers' Singing Club, Louise Erdrich

German, prairies, early-mid 20th c.

Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende

South American & Chinese, California, mid-19th c.

Typical American, Gish Jen

Chinese, New York, mid 20th c.

A Saloonkeeper's Daughter, Drude Krog Janson

Norwegian, Minnesota, late 19th c.

**Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt

Irish, New York, contemporary

**Nothing to Do But Stay, Carrie Young

Norwegian, prairies, early 20th c.

*Written for adults but suitable for adolescents who are good readers in English.







The Sacquitne (Såkvitne) barn
was built by Snåre Larson Såkvitne
in the 1860s, in Highlandville, Iowa.




Suggested Titles: Lower & Upper Secondary*


A Step from Heaven , An Na

Korean, California, 20th c.

Lupita Manana, Patricia Beatty

Mexican, California, 20th c.

The Journal of Otto Peltonen: A Finnish Immigrant, 1905, William Durbin


Becoming Mary Mehan, Jennifer Armstrong

Two novels of an Irish immigrant, Civil War.

Fiona McGilray's Story: A Voyage from Ireland in 1849, Clare Pastore


Picture Bride, Yoshiko Uchida

Japanese, California-WWII internment camps.

Golden Mountain Chronicles, Lawrence Yep

Chinese, China & California, 19th c. A series of novels including The Serpent's Children, Mountain Light, Dragon's Gate. Yep has other novels of Chinese immigrants for young readers.

Good Night, Maman, Norma Fox Mazer

Jewish, New York, WWII.

Nory Ryan's Song, Patricia Reilly Giff

Set only in Ireland during the famine.

Letters from Rifka, Karen Hesse

Jewish, mostly set in Europe but includes an interesting picture of Ellis Island, 1920.

Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan

Mexican, Mexico & California, 1930s.

A Stolen Life, Jane Louise Curry

Scottish, Scotland & Virginia, 18th c.

Journey to America, Sonia Levitin

Jewish, set entirely in Europe, 1930s.

Children of the River, Linda Crew

Cambodian, Cambodia & Oregon, late 20th c.

*Written for older children and adolescents; some stories may be immature for upper secondary.




The Oak Ridge Church was built by Norwegian emigrants near Houston, Minnesota in 1896
It was moved to the
emigrant museum in Hamar in 1996