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Who Belongs Here? 2E

An American story

Who Belongs Here? 2E

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  • 9780884486398cover

Who Belongs Here? 2E

WHO BELONGS HERE? tells the story of Nary, a young boy fleeing war-torn Cambodia for the safety of the United States. To some of his new classmates, however, he is a “chink” who should go back where he belongs. But what if everyone whose family came from another place was forced to return to his or her homeland? Who would be left? This story teaches compassion for recent immigrants while sharing the history of immigration in America and some of the important contributions made by past immigrants. It is used in schools everywhere for units on immigration and tolerance.

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More than 120,000 copies sold!

WHO BELONGS HERE? tells the story of Nary, a young boy fleeing war-torn Cambodia for the safety of the United States. To some of his new classmates, however, he is a “chink” who should go back where he belongs. But what if everyone whose family came from another place was forced to return to his or her homeland? Who would be left? This story teaches compassion for recent immigrants while sharing the history of immigration in America and some of the important contributions made by past immigrants. It is used in schools everywhere for units on immigration and tolerance.

WHY READ THIS BOOK?

What if everyone whose family came from another place was forced to return to his or her homeland? A story that teaches compassion for recent immigrants while sharing the history of American immigration.

Topics:

Belonging, bullying, immigration.

Problem:

A Cambodian refugee is not welcomed by his classmates.

Reviews:

“Following their well-received Talking Walls , Knight and O’Brien again team up for an affectionate if didactic exploration of connections among people world-wide. This time the message is filtered through the experience of Nary, a Cambodian refugee who immigrates to the U.S. with his grandmother after the death of both parents. Hostility toward immigrants and the impetus to work for change are explored. The central question, “What if everyone . . . whose ancestors came from another country was forced to return to his or her homeland? . . . Who would be left?” signals the book’s design as a vehicle for discussion. The text itself pairs Nary’s story with italicized information on immigration to the U.S. …the volume provides strong starting points for ongoing explorations of multicultural themes.” -Publisher’s Weekly

“After escaping the killing fields of Cambodia and living in a refugee camp in Thailand, 10-year-old Nary (a composite character drawn from students that Knight has known as an ESL teacher) is now adjusting to his new home in the U.S. The amount of food in the grocery stores amazes him, and he likes eating pizza and ice cream. But sometimes his classmates are mean to him, calling him names and telling him to “get back on the boat and go home where you belong.” In counterpoint to Nary’s story, Knight includes information about other refugees and their contributions to the U.S. and challenges readers to confront difficult questions about immigration, racism, and multiculturalism: “What if everyone who now lives in the U.S., but whose ancestors came from another country, was forced to return to his or her homeland?” This book is similar to the author and illustrator’s other collaborative effort, Talking Walls (1992), in that Knight’s text compassionately explores the complex issues and O’Brien’s full-color pastel illustrations personalize the experiences of Nary and other new Americans. An attractive and telling picture book that provokes a dynamic dialogue about one of the most fundamental questions before our country.”  -Annie Ayers

“A well-intentioned blend of a fictional Cambodian boy’s story and a social-studies unit on diversity. Nary and the remnants of his family, who fled the Khmer Rouge, find physical security and material abundance in the US, but also resentment and ethnic intolerance. The nonfiction gloss, in italics, pulls in topics as diverse as Ellis Island, linguistic and culinary borrowings, the Iroquois Great Law of Peace (described as a model for parts of the Constitution; the endnotes, more accurately, label this idea as speculative), immigration quotas, and civil rights activism. Useful for its focus on the hard question of who should be allowed into the US, the book is obviously designed to be open-ended and will find its best use as a classroom discussion-starter.” -Kirkus Reviews

 

Additional Information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 11 x 8.50 x 0.508 in
Pages

48

Illustrator

Anne Sibley O’Brien

ISBN

978-0-88448-639-8

Format

Hardcover

Author

Margy Burns Knight

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