Who Belongs Here?: An American Story

Overview

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 ...
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2003 School & Library Binding This is a Perma-Bound / Library Binding Edition A brand-new, unused, unready copy. American Classroom Libraries has over 30, 000 childrens books in ... stock. We Ship Daily! Read more Show Less

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Overview

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.

The Who Belongs Here? Teacher's Guide, written by Margy Burns Knight and Thomas V. Chan, offers dozens of imaginative ideas for exploring immigration, refugees, and other topics related to diversity.

Describes the new life of Nary, a Cambodian refugee, in America, as well as his encounters with prejudice. Includes some general history of U.S. immigration.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. This strategy is only intermittently effective; younger readers may not be capable of making the conceptual jumps both Knight and O'Brien require, while older readers may chafe at the picture-book format. These limitations notwithstanding, the volume provides strong starting points for ongoing explorations of multicultural themes. Ages 7-13. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Drawing on her experience as an ESL teacher, Knight introduces the fictional character Nary, a 10-year-old boy from Cambodia. Accompanying his story of leaving his homeland and settling in this country is a parallel text, set in italics, that expands some of the ideas presented. Sometimes it provides background information on U.S. immigration or history; at other times it serves to stimulate discussion, particularly on such topics as intolerance and prejudice. Notes in the back give additional material on individuals (Pol Pot, Dith Pran, Dolores Huerta) and concepts introduced earlier. Three-quarters of each double-page spread is covered with brightly colored, impressionistic pastel illustrations. Unfortunately, the texts do not blend well. Nary's story is choppy; the italicized portions are often superficial and not always relevant. For information strictly on Cambodian immigrants, consult Nancy Graff's Where the River Runs (Little, 1993).-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA
Annie Ayers
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613033701
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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