We Are Americans: Voices of The Immigrant Experience

We Are Americans: Voices of The Immigrant Experience

by Dorothy Hoobler, Thomas Hoobler

Through letters, diaries, and oral histories, WE ARE AMERICANS profiles the often challenging but ultimately rewarding experiences of US immigrants during the last 20,000 years.

Every child will find an ancestor or contemporary in this collection of personal narratives that tells the story, chronologically, of immigrant groups in this nation.

From the first


Through letters, diaries, and oral histories, WE ARE AMERICANS profiles the often challenging but ultimately rewarding experiences of US immigrants during the last 20,000 years.

Every child will find an ancestor or contemporary in this collection of personal narratives that tells the story, chronologically, of immigrant groups in this nation.

From the first human residents of North America, to the mass of Europeans in the 1800's, to today's modern Americans, each group has made significant and lasting contributions to the ever changing culture of the United States.

Through the letters and oral histories, first person accounts and biographies, children will reflect on the many different

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The history of the United States can be told in the form of a series of stories about people making long journeys across enormous distances and often with great difficulties to a land where untold unknowns lay ahead of them. It all began with the ancestors of the Native American tribes who set about founding their settlements. It could not have seemed too soon for these people that Europeans began to arrive; men with pale skins who were not content to leave things are they were but were insistent on change and on possessing that which was not theirs to own. These first Europeans soon stopped being mere explorers and traders and became instead colonists; English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Irish, French, and the slaves that served them. Each group of colonists brought with them their language and their traditions, their religions and their culture and for a while they lived apart. But, this state of affairs could not last and it was not long before what was to be called "the melting pot" began to come together and cultures began to mix and meld in a way that would never have been possible "at home." What is fascinating about this book is to read about the many migrations that took place at different times. There was not one Irish migration but several, and several German migrations as well. Different events in the home country caused its people to seek new opportunities in the United States at different times. For example a war might have driven people to leave and then an economic depression one hundred years later might have had the same effect. We read too, about how unwelcome many immigrants were made to feel. The Irish, Jews, Japanese, Chinese, and Mexicans have all been made to feelunwelcome at one time or another despite the great contributions they have made to the people and the overall culture of the United States. Even after fighting for the American cause in its wars certain American minorities have still had to fight for their rights to be treated with dignity and respect. The lot of the immigrant is often a difficult one. Perhaps the most engaging aspect of this volume is the way in which the authors have used personal accounts. We can the read the very words of young people and old describing their experiences as immigrants. Many of them suffered a great deal and we cannot but feel respect and admiration for their determination to make a life for themselves in this "land of opportunity." Some did not survive but gave up their lives on American soil soon after arriving upon it. These first hand stories are very powerful and memorable. Filled with annotated photos, illustrations, and prints this is a book which will offer the reader an enormous amount of information. 2003, Scholastic, Ages 12 up.
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
From the first wanderers across the land that connected Siberia to Alaska, to the illegal immigrants who risk everything to get to the United States from Mexico, Haiti, China, and other places today, the questions are these: Why did they leave? Why did they come? How did they cope when they arrived? What did the governments (English, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, American, etc.) do to encourage or discourage emigration and immigration? The Hooblers have told immigration stories in their American Family Albums series, and they draw from their research to construct this overview of the immigrant experience. Drawings, paintings, and photographs as well as lengthy excerpts from primary source material frame the pages and are excellent resources for student assignments. The story is told in a way that kept this reader turning the pages. For those students who love the Dear America series, urge them to read this book next. Here are the true stories. Criticism is for the format and not the content. The credits for all the images and quotations are at the end of the book, and those for the images are in alphabetical and not page order. It is nearly impossible to locate the source of a photograph of a slave in chains shipping to the colonies—a photograph? That said, this book is a fine addition to any collection. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Scholastic, 194p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading., Ages 11 to 18.
—Lynne Hawkins
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-This ambitious book covers the immigrant experience from prehistoric times to the present day, including the movement and establishment of various Native American communities. The Hooblers also do a thorough job of tracking waves of immigration to the United States from around the globe. They explore how the immigrants struggled in their new land, and how their hard work benefited the country as a whole. Personal stories, writings, and anecdotes appear in sidebars throughout and excellent-quality, black-and-white archival photos and reproductions highlight the text. This thoughtful, well-researched overview will be a solid addition to most collections and is most notable for the diverse array of voices that it contains.-Carol Fazioli, formerly at The Brearley School, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Those who came to the United States to settle, the immigrants, usually heard or read about America before they came." Such revelations and many instances of careless writing mar a work that may still be a useful resource for students writing reports. Since, as the authors note, we are all immigrants or the descendants of immigrants, the volume covers much ground, from the first immigrants 20,000 years ago to ongoing immigration today. Though trials and tribulations are not overlooked, the booster spirit of the volume emphasizes the courage, strength, and daring of the immigrants as they struggled to survive in a new land. The land of opportunity and the melting pot are themes mentioned repeatedly and uncritically in this sales pitch for the American dream. No bibliography is included, and the list of works for further reading is modest. (index, credits) (Nonfiction. 8+)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
We Are Americans Series
Product dimensions:
9.08(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.65(d)
950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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