15 Immigrants Who Shaped U.S. History

An American History Book for Kids

By: Brooke Khan

Published: November 5, 2019

Publisher: Rockridge Press


Most likely, if you work through your family tree, there will be someone that immigrated to America from their native country. I can trace my Great-Great-Great Grandpa coming to America from Wales. This book features stories of 15 immigrants who went on to do great things here in America. The stories are written for middle-grade readers and include illustrations of each person. Some of them are well-known like Elie Wiesel, Albert Einstein, Madeline Albright, and Levi Strauss. Out of all of them, I knew of nine, but your children wouldn’t necessarily be aware of them.

Even though I knew that jeans were created to help the miners during the gold rush, I didn’t know it was Levi Strauss that made the first pair or the rest of his story. I found his story fascinating and I was impressed that the company is still being run by his family members.

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee grew up in China. Her father came to America when she was four. She attended a Chinese Christian school and learned English there. When she was 9, she and her mother joined her father in New York City. She was a good student here and earned many awards for her schoolwork. In 1912, she led a parade for women’s voting rights and became a well-known leader in the suffrage movement at the age of 16. Even in college, she continued to fight for women’s rights along with balancing her school work. She wrote and gave speeches, especially targeted to the Chinese-American community. Even though the 19th Amendment passed and gave women the right to vote, it was only for women who were citizens. Mabel never gave up and continued to work hard for the Chinese people in her community right up until her death in 1966. She even had a post office in New York City’s Chinatown named after her in 2018, the Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office.

There are so many amazing stories from people who are no longer with us, as well as those who are still doing amazing things. Even those who I thought I knew their stories, there were still surprises.

The end of the book offers ten more individuals whose stories you can research on your own. This book is great for kids that like engaging and inspiring stories. Classrooms or homeschooling families could use this book for history lessons and build on the biographies given with more research. Resources for the stories are also given at the end of the book for more information.

Brooke Khan holds a secondary teaching credential in Language Arts and Social Science as well as a master’s degree in Education. After teaching for over a decade, she started her own business, Literacy in Focus LLC, where she creates and publishes engaging materials for teachers all over the world. Brooke lives in Southern California with her husband and son. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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