Book of Life

The Book of Life was created in 2013 as a form of narrative therapy by a team of clinical researchers at the University of Miami working with detained unaccompanied undocumented minors in South Florida. This activity booklet serves as the template for a larger curriculum designed to allow immigrant youth to share their story about where they came from and how they arrived to the U.S., to learn about their current situation living at a government juvenile shelter, and to consider their aspirations for the future.

Activity type: narrative therapy based activity booklet

Length: This curriculum is made up of 6 activities covering Past, Present, Future and is currently designed to take place over 2 days for 5 hours total. See below for the sample agenda that includes the full curriculum and time lengths for each activity. You may use all or parts of the booklet as time allows.


Related Files


Immigrant Child Affirmative Network (ICAN) created the Book of Life in 2013 to address the current needs of this population, based on feedback from immigrant youth, clinicians, immigration lawyers, and shelter staff.

ICAN is an innovative youth development and empowerment program created to address the needs of detained unaccompanied undocumented minors in South Florida.


[An innovative part of ICAN is] the youths' creation of a "book of life" to help them reclaim different aspects of their identity.

Helping immigrant children heal.

Monitor on Psychology: a publication of the American Psychological Association, March 2015