Review: Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home

Posted December 18, 2021 by Richetta in #ownvoices, Book Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

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Review: Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding HomeCome On In by Adi Alsaid, Varsha Bajaj, Maria E. Andreu, Sharon Morse, Misa Sugiura, Nafiza Azad, Maurene Goo, Sona Charaipotra, Yamile Saied Méndez, Zoraida Córdova, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Sara Farizan, Isabel Quintero, Justine Larbalestier, Lilliam Rivera
Published by Harlequin on October 13, 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / New Experience, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by critically acclaimed and bestselling YA authors who are shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home—and to find home.


From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah…from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey…from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In.

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands…who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL…who give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more… Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience, from authors who have been shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home—and to find home.

Reading the anthology Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home edited by Adi Alsaid felt like I was sitting at a huge banquet sized table at a huge dinner party listening to people tell stories all night long. It was a fantastic experience. I learned so much from the many different perspectives and experiences shared in the stories. There was laughter, pain, fear and joy throughout the 15 stories about immigration.

Amazing Flow

Even though the stories inCome On In were written by 15 different authors, it had an amazing flow from one story to another. I was introduced to authors that I will now seek out additional work by them. As a learner, I am so glad that I read this anthology.

Centering Joy, Recognizing the Full Spectrum of Immigration Stories

This might have been why I was able to make my way through this anthology and read all of the stories so quickly. There are a lot of stories out there that only center trauma and abuse that can occur during a migration experience depending on who you are and where you are coming from. That is not to take away from an individual’s story, this anthology just honored that there is more than one type of immigration story.

This set of stories went way beyond that and focused on themes of home, family, and love. These stories occupy the full spectrum of what the immigration experience can be or feel like. There are stories from characters who were too young to remember emigrating and from characters who are actively immigrating in the story. Some stories discuss the impact of characters who are American but who are not seen as such by ignorant eyes. Some stories discuss how families deal with the impact of immigration on their lives.

Favorite Stories

“A Bigger Tent” – I thought that I was going to catch a Korean mama backhand from being too close to the page during a certain mother-daughter exchange in this story. There are just some things that are universal in those relationships. One of them involves being careful about how you talk to your mother if you want to live.

“The Trip” – I was on the edge of my seat, gripping my steering wheel while I listened to this story! I felt so bad for her and was reminded about the terror that people have gone through and continue to do so at the hands of ICE.

“The Wedding” – This was a super fun read. Loved the voice and I will be seeking out additional work by this author.

“When I Was White” – This one was interesting. I actually was intrigued by it because I recently watched Passing on Netflix. I thought the exploration on the construct of race and the point of view of someone who was not from the United States was intriguing.


I came for… a diverse group of authors

I stayed for… the different perspectives from many cultures and experiences

Educator Recommendations: There are so many things that you can do through the themes that connect the stories in this anthology. Often immigration stories are dominated by struggle and darkness. While those stories are many and exist, it’s important to remember that there are many types of experiences with immigration to the United States and not just one single narrative.

Also check out: Friday Night Highlights: Practical Reasons to Read Anthologies

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