In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord is the story of Shirley Temple Wong as she immigrates to America at age 8 and discovers that American is the land of opportunity by learning about baseball, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the great Jackie Robinson. Four other immigrant stories are listed and all books are approrpriate for grades 3-5.
Rosemary Well’s Mary on Horseback is historical fiction about Mary Breckenridge, founder of Frontier Nursing Services in mountains of Appalacia after WWI. I also recommend The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill.
If you want a great old-fashioned fairy book and tire of those repetitive Rainbow Fairies, try No Flying in the House by Betty Brock.
Grace Lin is the Amy Tan of Children’s Literature. Her latest book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, is her best yet. Perfect for 2nd-5th graders or even older. She weaves Chinese folk tales into a tapestry of stories where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.