These authors don't like the immigration stories they're hearing from Washington. So they're writing their own
Updated 1:36 PM ET, Sat December 21, 2019
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(CNN)Yuyi Morales heard hateful rhetoric about immigrants and knew she needed to fight back.
So she started drawing.
The author and illustrator already had made her mark on children's literature in more than a dozen books. With the 2016 election fresh in her mind, Morales felt it was time to tackle a more personal topic.
"I felt like I had no choice, actually. ... I felt that if someone was going to define who immigrants were," she says, "it was going to have to be us."
Morales' 2018 children's book, "Dreamers," tells the story of a journey she made decades ago, and how she found her way after coming to the United States from Mexico with a young son in tow.
The award-winning immigration tale has already become a mainstay on the shelves of many bookstores and libraries. And it's far from the only one.
Inspired by the political moment and their own experiences, a growing number of authors are writing children's books about immigration.
"It's a total golden age. ... We have seen a serious uptick," says Kirsten Cappy, executive director of I'm Your Neighbor Books, a Maine-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting children's books about "new arrivals and new Americans."
From 2000-2006, there were just a handful of children's books dealing with immigration or immigrant families published each year, according to a database the group maintains. In 2016, there were a dozen. And by 2018, there were more than 100.
The 2016 election was likely a major catalyst, according to Cappy. So was a push for more diversity in children's literature that began well before President Trump took office.
Events in the news are also inspiring some books hitting the shelves. One novel for young readers published this year tells the story of a migrant caravan from El Salvador through the eyes of a child making the journey. And