Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration” as Want to Read:
This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  86 reviews
A 2017 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist!

American attitudes toward immigrants are paradoxical. On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, depending on prevailing economic conditions, fluctuating feelings about race and e
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Harry N. Abrams
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about This Land Is Our Land, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about This Land Is Our Land

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  237 ratings  ·  86 reviews

Sort order
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is s beautifully written and illustrated book about the history of immigration in the U.S. It's very detailed and never pulls punches on the blatant racism. At one point in time every American has faced it in their family tree.
So timely and relevant and important. This book explores immigration to America from the beginning of European "settlement" through the issues with today's immigration reform and how it impacts immigrants arriving from all corners of the world. Engaging, well paced, and not without being critical, Osborne makes this book relevant to every reader in the USA and doesn't skimp on highlighting the terribly cruel ways that Americans have been racist throughout history.

Loved the chapter on refugees e
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Outstanding resource on immigration.
I read this book for my young adult materials class:

I don't know how to really feel about this book. It's important because it addresses immigration which is such an important aspect of our history especially now. I think the information was thought provoking and it enlightened on various aspects of immigration that I wasn't familiar with. For example I knew that there were exclusions to certain groups in terms of immigration but I had no knowledge of the quotas that were set that kept out immi
Maggie Elizabeth
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bio
Students are encouraged to read nonfiction books with a question in mind. These days’ students have many questions about our country and the people that make up our country. This Land is Our Land by Linda Barret Osborne is a 2017 YALSA Award Nominee for Excellence in Nonfiction and offers many explanations to questions about past and present immigration policies of the United States. Older students in grades 5th-8th will find this informational book insightful and eye opening when they read abou ...more
Thoroughly researched and accessible because of the vignettes that are included in this book's six chapters, This Land Is Our Land explores the history of immigration in the United States. As is the case for many readers, this is a personal story for author Linda Barrett Osborne since all eight of her great-grandparents were born in Italy before moving to this country. Even as she acknowledges that personal connection and ponders how our nation got its start as a nation of immigrants, she sifts ...more
Reily Moen
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
I enjoyed this book because it gave me a lot of insight on immigration laws in the United States over the centuries and the general attitudes of American citizens toward immigrants. However I am not sure whether I would assign the entire book to students because it does have a lot of information and it I sometimes found it hard to process everything. I would probably break up the book and let my class tackle it in smaller doses. The timeline gets a little fuzzy as well, because the author jumps ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great book about the history of immigration in the US. The book has a total of 6 chapters, that takes the reader on a journey from the beginning of American immigration through 2015.

The text is simple and easy to understand, and each chapter has a good amount of photos and other images of paintings and flyers. The text also includes interviews with immigrants - some famous and some not.

The book is also well organized. The chapters are color-coded, and there is an excellent assortment of back
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. At times it was dry and repetitive, but the repetitiveness is not the fault of the author, it's because governments and people keep repeating themselves. (Tangent) Which is why history is so important! Learn from our past! Stop doing the same things over and over again! (end tangent). This Land is Our Land is very well written, the photographs included make perfect sense in their locations and it is easy to see why this book was a 2017 Youth Media Award book. This is a ver ...more
Molly Clemens
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This Land Is Our Land by Linda Osborne does an excellent job at displaying American attitudes toward immigrates in a perplexing way. I really enjoyed reading this book for multiple reasons. Although this book is informational, I also found this book be to historic-fiction. I learned many new aspects of American history and a more in-depth understanding of immigration laws in the United States from the 1800s to the early 1920s.
The author displays a theme of power. Power is demonstrated through i
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Clear, spacious history of immigration with lots of pictures (I recognized one that also appeared in the book on plague, which was fun). The author works hard at being factual and only in the epilogue speaks freely about her belief that immigration is a fundamental part of America, but I had figured out her feelings earlier.
Kayla Leitschuh
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic overview of the history of immigration in our country. Highly recommend!
Morgan Kohl
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informative-text
For me, reading this book was rather difficult. The pictures made it hard to follow and I was not fond of the way it was set up. Other than that, I found the book so interesting and it had many good personal stories in there that we do not hear enough of on a daily basis.
In the first chapter it discussed the beginning of America and how it came to be. I enjoyed the fact that the author took the time to do her research and talk about our beginnings. My favorite chapter of this book had to be when
Addison  Moore
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This Land Is Our Land was a bulky but informative book. History books are a lot to take in, there's so much information on one page that it can be overwhelming. This book was very informal and educational that finishing it was somewhat hard. I'm currently enrolled in a history course and after reading pages and pages of a newsy text, I lack interest. Textbooks are not my style, so reading this book was a good different. I would recommend this book to history lovers or someone who has an interest ...more
Tia Roundy
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: info-text
In all honesty, this was a very hard read! The information is straight forward, but it is very dry. It was challenging for me to get through this book because the information was very dull, but the message the book was intending to get across is very important. Being a future ESL teacher, it will be important to teach my students that everyone is different and that everyone has a different ethnic background, and as a teacher, it will be important to know my students' cultural heritage. This book ...more
The best line is the first in the summary which is that America's relationship with immigration is paradoxical and Osborne does a fantastic job of demonstrating this. Not only is this a thorough examination of immigration throughout history, it provides historical context, definitions (with an addendum at the back about visas versus green cards, naturalization and citizenship), as well as instances both known and unknown regarding the movement of individuals and groups to the United States. It c ...more
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes it takes a children's book to help me understand how this country got to be how it is, or to see in black and white history repeat itself again and again. "This Land is Our Land" did just that. It showed the history of immigration in this country and also the racism that prevented certain citizens from entering. It described the politics involved, too, but also asked the question of any child reading it, "Do we make it difficult for new people to come to this country? Do we treat them ...more
Madelynne Marsden
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had little to no knowledge of immigration in the US before reading this book. I learned the basic things but nothing as in depth as this book was. It was short but I felt like I learned a lot.

I read this book at the same time I was reading a historical fiction novel and I understood more of the background of that book because of this one.

This book had plenty of pictures to show what the people looked like from the era in which they immigrated. This book made me think about the different accen
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a very thorough history of American immigration, and the visual layout is stunning. Lots of primary source photographs and other artwork to engage. Don't be fooled--- this content is still for older readers even though it looks very younger-kid friendly. It's almost too textbook-y to be considered a trade book, but I don't think it crosses that line. It's a very engaging read that should be used in any high school history class to better understand what students are currently inundated w ...more
Penny Peck
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya
Very timely, this history of immigration to the United States has chapters on the early years(pre-Civil War), Italians and Jews, Asians, Latin American, Refugees, and the current status of immigration. There is a color photo and every page but the narrative is the book's strength; it raises questions and will be very useful for reports. The discussion on refugees is especially relevant to current news, and back matter includes index, timeline, source notes, and bibliography. Only thing missing i ...more
Jennifer Mangler
Of all the questions Osborne asks in this book, the one I kept returning to was, "Why do we sometimes invite immigration and sometimes fear it?" Most people, when they think of history, expect to see progress (as in "forward or onward movement"), but looking at our history through the lens of immigration does not look like that. Our attitudes towards immigration have changed, but not in a linear way. Rather, our attitudes tend to circle back around. Books like this help us contextualize and exam ...more
Bobbi Skipper
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that I would put in a classroom library. It was very informative about the process of immigration and how some were not allowed in the country due to racism. Its an easy read as well.
Susanna Holland
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Terrific look at a complicated issue in America. Each chapter introduces a new enthnic/racial group who emigrated to the United States, in roughly historical order--first the Northern Europeans (English, Germans), then eastern Europeans (Jews, Italians, etc.), and how they were received, or discriminated against, the contributions they made to building the country, the laws made that affected their arrival or their path to citizenship. Final chapter deals with current state of affairs of immigra ...more
Bridget F
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
This book is a 2017 YALSA Finalist. I read this as an ebook through Hoopla. This book discusses immigration to the United States from the 19th century to the present, and how Americans already here reacted. Osborne begins by discussing when Europeans who were not English began to immigrate to the United States and how they often encountered discrimination. Next, Osborne explores the immigration of Germans, Swedes, Italians, Irish, Chinese, and others. When reading this book, I saw the pattern of ...more
Ellen Tveit
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, kid-lit
Osborne illustrates and adds nuance to the complicated history of American immigration by weaving in first-person stories and some discussion of how the political and economic context in the U.S. and other countries shaped U.S. immigration and resettlement. That context does not include U.S. actions in other countries that destabilized their political regimes or economies, leading to emigration.

As soon as she reasonably can, Osborne reminds the reader that Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book on the YALSA Nonfiction Award page, as it was a 2017 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist. I listened to this book on Audible and found it very fascinating. I believe this book would be best for ages 12-17 and displays themes such as immigration, struggle, exclusion, segregation, and hostility. This book explores the first immigrations to the America's and leads way into discussions about immigration today, such as undocumented illegal aliens. This book shows America in two ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
I found this book on the YALSA list. This being the 2017 nonfiction finalist. When I read this book I couldn't help but think how current the book is to everything that is going on in our world right now. Immigrants and immigration will always be a topic of conversation and why can't this conversation be steered in a positive direction? I think that this book could be used for the middle school aged student or high school. Depending on the activity that is being done we can adapt the story to me ...more
Linda Barrett Osborne provides a critical view of the history of immigration, and takes a look into how the United States has treated immigrants over the course of its two-hundred-year-plus history. The chapters are divided into the different kinds of immigrants: Asians, German & English, Southern & Eastern European, etc., and the last chapter revolves around the future of immigration: should we as a nation allow all immigrants unrestricted in to the United States? Should we change our l ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
Recommended for grades 5-12, this 2017 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist & Carter G. Woodson Honor Award winning book is a library must have. “This Land Is Our Land a History of American Immigration” by Linda Barrett Osborne portrays a more modern and realistic view of the American Immigration experience. Osborne argues that plurality over a straight and narrow path toward full and traditional assimilation is a more promising approach to understanding our nation’s turbulent history of ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961
  • First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race
  • Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam
  • Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II
  • Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism
  • Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound
  • Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History
  • In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives
  • We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
  • Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives
  • Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
  • Years of Dust
  • Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community
  • Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
  • Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune
  • This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon
  • Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
  • Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land
Linda Barrett Osborne is the author of several books for children on African American history, including Abrams’ Traveling the Freedom Road. She is a senior writer and editor in the Library of Congress’s Publishing Office. She lives in Washington, DC.