Finding Refuge

Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young People

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

When you read about war in your history book or hear about it in the news, do you ever wonder what happens to the families and children in the places experiencing war? Many families in these situations decide that they must leave their homes to stay alive. What happens to them?

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 70.8 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes because of war or persecution as of 2019. Over fifty percent of these people are under the age of eighteen.

English teacher Victorya Rouse has assembled a collection of real-world experiences of teen refugees from around the world. Learn where these young people came from, why they left, and how they arrived in the United States. Read about their struggles to adapt to a new language, culture, and high school experiences, along with updates about how they are doing now and what they hope their futures will look like.

As immigration has catapulted into the current discourse, this poignant collection emphasizes the United States’ rich tradition of welcoming people from all over the world.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: C Social Awareness, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Zest Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 264
Publication Date 2021-09-07
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS YAN051090, YAN006020, YAN052040
Dewey 305.235092/6912
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Lexile 780
ATOS Reading Level 6.0
Accelerated Reader® Points 10.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Index, Maps, Reviewed, and Table of contents

Author: Victorya Rouse

Victorya Rouse was born in Red Wing, Minnesota. She began her teaching career as Peace Corps Volunteer in Eswatini, Africa. Living and traveling in southern Africa she realized that access to education was the key to self-determination. This inspired her to become an English as a Second Language teacher. Currently, she teaches English to high school aged refugees and immigrants in Spokane, Washington and is an adjunct professor for Whitworth University in Spokane, teaching courses on Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. The stories of her students inspired her to write her first published book, Finding Refuge: Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young People. Victorya also serves on the board of directors for Refugee Connections of Spokane, an organization that serves refugee and immigrant communities and advocates for refugee and immigrant rights. She lives in Cheney, Washington with her husband of 35+ years.

World Refugee Day: Books that Highlight Refugee Rights & Experiences

June 20 is World Refugee Day, observed to acknowledge the right of anyone, anywhere, to seek safety. Below, discover nonfiction books that recount true stories of refugees around the world and discuss refugee rights, along with fiction picks that reflect refugee experiences. Learn more… View →


  • In the Margins: Best Books for Teens, Winner, 2022
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2022


School Library Journal

“A timely book on an important topic that deserves a spot on any bookshelf, this is especially vital for libraries in areas with young multilingual learners, immigrants, and refugees.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“[D]etailed, well written, and heartfelt, infusing much-needed humanity into an issue that is often discussed purely through statistics. . . . A beautifully curated anthology presenting the voices of refugees.”—Kirkus Reviews