I'm New Here

illus. by Anne Sibley O'Brien. 32p. ebook available. Charlesbridge. Aug. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781580896122. LC 2013049031.
K-Gr 2—Being the new student in a classroom is difficult enough, but when the child comes from another culture and speaks a different language, it can be extremely stressful and lonely. Three youngsters enter a new school—Maria from Guatemala, Jin from Korea, and Fatimah from Somalia—and each one experiences the feeling of not fitting in. They slowly learn to find ways to assimilate and, in fact, to shine as their inclusion in the classroom enriches the lives of the other children. Maria asks to join a group playing soccer, Jin teaches a fellow student some words written in Korean, and Fatimah gains enough confidence to share her artwork with the group. Brightly hued watercolors on stark white backgrounds show the children's adjustment to the new situation and their classmates' ready acceptance. "A Note from the Author" page includes a list of recommended readings on the same subject.
VERDICT The title would be useful in sparking a discussion, and the simple text makes it a good choice for beginning readers.

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