If you liked "Beethoven Lives Upstairs"...
Thank you for your Book Match request - and thank you for your patience
for our delayed response during the holiday season. I've also read
Beethoven Lives Upstairs, which is a great book. Since you didn't
mention the music element specifically as a requirement, and since I was
mostly unable to find music related historical fiction pertaining to
immigration and/or disabilities, the following recommendations, except
for one, do not relate to music. Also, since Immigration and
Disabilities are two separate themes, I have made them into separate
lists. I have provided several suggestions on both lists, since they
cover different forms of disabilities and different immigrant
experiences, and I was unsure which ones would appeal to you (or to your
10 year old) most. I only chose historical fiction and those that would
work for a 10 year old. Here are some suggestions I hope you will like.
Tchaikovsky discovers America.
by Esther Kalman ; illustrated by Laura Fernandez and Rick Jacobson.
Eleven-year-old Jenny, whose family came from Russia to America to start
a new life, meets the famous Russian composer on his 1891 trip to the
New World and writes about it in her diary. This is an older picture
book, not a chapter book.
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse.
In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family's
flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left
in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord.
In 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes
Americanized at school, in her apartment building, and by her love for
A House of Tailors by Patricia Reilly Giff.
When thirteen-year-old Dina emigrates from Germany to America in 1871,
her only wish is to return home as soon as she can, but as the months
pass and she survives a multitude of hardships living with her uncle and
his young wife and baby, she finds herself thinking of Brooklyn as her
Brothers by Yin; paintings by Chris Soentpiet.
Having arrived in San Francisco from China to work in his brother's
store, Ming is lonely until an Irish boy befriends him. Older picture
How I Became an American by Karen Gundisch.
In 1902, ten-year-old Johann and his family, Germans who had been living
in Austria-Hungary, board a ship to immigrate to Youngstown, Ohio, where
they make a new life as Americans.
One-Handed Catch by Mary Jane Auch.
After losing his hand in an accident in his father's butcher shop in
1946, sixth-grader Norman uses hard work and humor to learn to live with
his disability and to succeed at baseball, art, and other activities.
Jirohattan by Hana Mori.
Deep in the rolling mountains of Japan, a grandmother tells her grandson
about World War II and Jirohattan, a mentally-handicapped boy who
couldn't enlist but helped evacuee children.
Sees Behind Trees by Michael Dorris.
A Native American boy with a special gift to "see" beyond his poor
eyesight journeys with an old warrior to a land of mystery and beauty.
A Sailor Returns By Theodore Taylor.
Evan, an eleven-year-old boy in 1914 whose strict father has little time
for him, is delighted when his long-lost grandfather returns, relates
his many sea adventures, and hobbles around like Evan who has a club
Where Heroes Hide By Helen Recorvits.
During the summer of 1956 ten-year-old Junior Webster, his friends, and
especially his father, a decorated World War II veteran, discover what
heroism is all about. The disability in the story pertains to Junior's
disabled friend Lenny who suffers from Polio.