First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants


"Stories by eleven well-known authors touch on a variety of teen experiences, with enough attitude and angst to speak to young adults anywhere." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Fleeing from political violence in Venezuela, Amina and her family have settled in the United States. Sarah, adopted, is desperate to know her Korean birth parents. Adrian’s friends have some spooky — and hilarious — misconceptions about his Romanian origins. Whether their transition is from Mexico to the United...

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"Stories by eleven well-known authors touch on a variety of teen experiences, with enough attitude and angst to speak to young adults anywhere." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Fleeing from political violence in Venezuela, Amina and her family have settled in the United States. Sarah, adopted, is desperate to know her Korean birth parents. Adrian’s friends have some spooky — and hilarious — misconceptions about his Romanian origins. Whether their transition is from Mexico to the United States or from Palestine to New Mexico, the characters in this anthology have all ventured far and have faced countless challenges. Each of these stories is unique, and each one has something to say to all of us.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Peter Neissa
This is a short story collection about teen immigrants from many different regions of the world. The title expresses the theme that runs throughout the collection: the tales are not about border crossings but, rather, cultural crossings. Many of the characters have come to the US as a result of political upheaval in other countries. In "Second Culture Kids," a teenage girl from Venezuela is forced to assimilate into Texas culture practically overnight. Everyone in the US assumes she is from Mexico, forcing her to fight for an identity and continually explain that she is Venezuelan. In "They Don't Mean It," a young girl and her family discover cultural differences when an invited family comes to dinner and compliments them on the food served. The host family responds by saying that it was not very good because the children did not do a good job preparing it. The reader, shocked at such an outburst, later discovers that it is bad manners in Asian culture to compliment one's children in front of others: it's considered bragging. The one drawback to the collection is the unnatural insertion of Spanish words into the English prose with respect to Hispanic culture immigrants. Speaking as a Latin American immigrant, I often found the Spanish words to be wrong. Nevertheless, the ten stories are often surprising and very readable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763632915
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 338,838
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 8.27 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor Donald R. Gallo is a recipient of the ALAN Award for Outstanding Contributions to Young Adult Literature and the editor of several short story anthologies for teens, including the highly praised DESTINATION UNEXPECTED. The American Library Association includes his anthology SIXTEEN among the 100 Best Books for Young Adults.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2010

    I really recommend this book to all of the teenagers

    First crossing Donald R. Gallo.
    I choose this book called First crossing because I thought that it was interesting, but I wasn't really exited to read this book because I only read book if they have a really cool picture on the front, but I don't know why I took this book and started reading it and when I started to read this book I like it because I realized that most of the short story are real in the world and that most people in the world has a lot of trouble to fit in the new place . This book talks about stories of teens, stories about how they fit in the new place, new country, new state, new city and the most important new school because this 10 short stories talks about teens of other countries that comes to U.S.A and other places and they don't know the language and they are so afraid to try fit in the place because they don't know the language.
    I have a lot of favorites stories because most of them were interesting, one of my favorite one was First Crossing by Pam Munoz Ryan, this short story is more common in families in Mexico and Central America because their parents or like Marco's went to the USA to work and earn some money. And because Marco was the oldest one he had to follow his fathers steps and just the reason why i liked this short story is because it explains how he get there and how hard it was for him.
    As I said I had a lot of favorites short stories, but one that really impressed me it was one the second culture kids by Dian Curtis Ryan. This story talks about a girl named Amina that she moved from Venenzuela to the united states just because Mr Chaves fault (the president.) This story talks a lot how this girl had a lot of trouble of learning English and how she tried to fit in there because when her father told her that they were moving of country she didn't wanted to move because she didn't wanted to leave her school and her friends. When she went to the new school and meet new friends she thought that it was going to be horrible, but actually she right away noticed that it was pretty nice to meet new friends and talk to them. When she was in the school she had all of the attention like a baby because since she didn't spoke english some people had to help her to do her homework.
    I was really impressive of this story because I connect this short story with my life because I passed exactly what Amina did because when my mom first told me that we were moving to the united states I was so angry because I didn't wanted to leave my school and not even worse my friends. When I first started going to school it was a school of just white people and there was only 2 girls named Guadalupe and Demares both of them spoked spanish so I really felt weird going school because first of all I didn't spoke English, second I didn't understand when the teacher talked to me and like stuff like. They both helped me to understand when the teacher was talking also I was like Amina because I had all of the attention in my teacher just because I didn't spoke English. And like sometimes people made fun of me just because I didn't knew how to pronounce some words and like there was a guy that every time I saw him he always sayed to me hi!, how are you? Really slow like if I was stupid and like sometimes that make feel bad like Amina did and when they were doing that (talking really slow with me) I just replied them, but instead of telling them in Upanishads I spoked english and like some of them were surpriser becaus

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