[Epub] One Good Thing about America By Ruth Freeman – Moi-sosedi.info

One Good Thing about America Do you no Americans eat fingers from chickens and sticks from fish Now I no Americans are very very CRAZY Everything is so strange right now to Anais She, her mother and her brother, Jean Claude, have left their home in the Congo and are living in Boston Her older brother, Olivier, is still living with her Oma in the Congo Her father s whereabouts are unknown, as he is being hunted by the military because of information he has about the mines Anais family is living in a shelter until the Do you no Americans eat fingers from chickens and sticks from fish Now I no Americans are very very CRAZY Everything is so strange right now to Anais She, her mother and her brother, Jean Claude, have left their home in the Congo and are living in Boston Her older brother, Olivier, is still living with her Oma in the Congo Her father s whereabouts are unknown, as he is being hunted by the military because of information he has about the mines Anais family is living in a shelter until they can afford an apartment and she is going to an American school Everyday Anais writes to her Oma about how much she wants to return to her home in the Congo Her grandmother challenges her to find One good thing about America every day.And slowly, with her focus on the positives, she begins to adapt to her new surroundings She finds friends and enjoys the company of other new students from different countries With the help of Ms Taylor, her ESL teacher, and Mr Dan, who is an immigrant himself who speaks French like Anais, she begins to understand English better, though it is still sometimes confusing But still why would anyone want to wear pajamas to school Such a great book for perspective and empathy It really makes you think about all the things in school that we treat as normal, like pajama days, that may seem really strange to those who are new to our culture This would make for some great discussions if read aloud or in small groups I would suggest either 3rd or 4th and above If you have ever moved and had to start over in a new school or new community or a new job, you can identify with that feeling of uncertainty and trepidation But, imagine starting over in a new country, because you ve had to escape the violence in your country Imagine living in a shelter among total strangers Imagine starting a school where the clothes the kids wear are different and itchy, the food they eat is strange.chicken FINGERS , and the people speak English way too fast.This is t If you have ever moved and had to start over in a new school or new community or a new job, you can identify with that feeling of uncertainty and trepidation But, imagine starting over in a new country, because you ve had to escape the violence in your country Imagine living in a shelter among total strangers Imagine starting a school where the clothes the kids wear are different and itchy, the food they eat is strange.chicken FINGERS , and the people speak English way too fast.This is the story of Anais and her mother and brother They came to America to escape the violence in Congo but had to leave their grandma, older brother, and father behind Anais tells her story in a series of letters that she writes to her grandma expressing her frustrations, fears, and crazy things about Americans When her grandma writes back she asks her to stop writing about all the bad things that are happening and that from now on in her letters, she must find One Good Thing about America every day and write about them in her letters.Anais is a very bright girl and thought she understood English until she came to America She is often frustrated by how she is treated by other kids in school She doesn t like that things aren t the same as they were in Congo She is happy they are safe, but she is constantly worrying about her family left behind in Congo.Since the story is told in letter format from Anais s point of view, it makes it an easy read for middle grade students This would make a great classroom read for teachers that have a student from another country in their classroom or school Children will be able to emphasize with a new student when they hear Anais s struggles with adapting to a new country, school, and culture Anais finds she is comforted by her ELL teacher Mrs Taylor This teacher offered Anais support and understanding and was able to give her the individual attention she needed to feel safe Ruth Freeman wrote this book because of her own experiences as an ELL teacher and based Anais on many of the students she has taught over the years Her story is timely and makes us pause a moment and try to understand those who come to our country and their struggles adapting to our norms It S Hard To Start At A New School Especially If You Re In A New Country Back Home, Anais Was The Best English Student In Her Class Here In Crazy America She Feels Like She Doesn T Know English At All Nothing Makes Sense Chicken FINGERS , And The Kids At School Have Some Very Strange Ideas About Africa Anais Misses Her Family Papa And Grandmother Oma And Big Brother Olivier Because Here In Crazy America There S Only Little Jean Claude And Mama So She Writes Letters To Oma Lots Of Them She Tells Her She Misses Her And Hopes The War Is Over Soon She Tells Her About Halloween, Snow, Mac N Cheese Dinners And Princess Sleepovers She Tells Her About The Weird Things Crazy Americans Do, And How She Just Might Be Turning Into A Crazy American Herself One Good Thing About America Is A Sweet, Often Funny Middle Grade Novel That Explores Differences And Common Ground Across Cultures Ana s and some of her family have emigrated to the United States she writes letters to her grandmother to share her experiences as well as to practice her English Constantly in her thoughts are her father and older brother, whose lives are still in danger in their home country The story is sweet, though there are definitely flaws I appreciated the author s attempt to tell an accessible story for elementary aged kids, who will celebrate Ana s successes without worrying about might have beens Ana s and some of her family have emigrated to the United States she writes letters to her grandmother to share her experiences as well as to practice her English Constantly in her thoughts are her father and older brother, whose lives are still in danger in their home country The story is sweet, though there are definitely flaws I appreciated the author s attempt to tell an accessible story for elementary aged kids, who will celebrate Ana s successes without worrying about might have beens Making it to America, navigating bureaucracy, and beginning to adapt to American culture are steep hills to climb even without the specter of racism Perhaps considering her audience, it s not surprising the author chooses to resolve most situations in a sunny, upbeat manner As an adult reader, though, I was constantly on edge at places where the narrative, in the real world, might ve taken a much darker turn For example, the little brother is injured in an accident when their mother is momentarily out of the apartment That s exactly the kind of incident that anti immigration forces might capitalize upon, to prove that these people are too feckless to ever truly become a part of American society When Ana s thinks she s invited to a sleepover but no phone call ever comes, I of course assumed the classmate s mother didn t want to invite the little African girl The author never actually explains why the call didn t come There were some hints of what immigrant children face A jackass at the hospital wonders aloud why Ana s didn t stay in Africa, and there are mentions of some of the difficulties of shelter life Ana s mother tries several times to get them out of the shelter and into a real apartment, but is unsuccessful Other times, very real difficulties are simply not recognized, or are minimized since we see them through the eyes of a young and inexperienced child For example, when the class is writing scary stories for Halloween Ana s realizes in pretty short order that her real life experience of having armed soldiers at her house hunting her father is not what her teacher is looking for She simply imitates what a classmate does and the story moves on There s barely a suggestion that such things haunt her As an educator, I found the behavior of the school staff the most galling, and that s where the story loses points A staff member I assume to be the school counselor makes several missteps, which young readers may not recognize I was annoyed that Ana s teacher simply calls her by an Americanized name because she can t pronounce the French She teachers the class that Kwanzaa is an African holiday, not an African American one The misunderstanding over the letter U was played for laughs, but made me cringe So did the scene where Ana s is struggling for a metaphor for what snow is as white as She comes up with as white as American people Damn good time for the teacher to explain that millions and millions of Americans are not white The teacher just laughs, and invites the rest of the class to laugh too Cringe Cringe Cringe I wanted one of three things for the teacher to grow and change and realize she was wrong to do those things, for another adult to step in and correct Miss Clueless, or for the author to draw our attention to the fact that this behavior was unacceptable even though a nice white lady was doing it I suppose it s realistic classroom teachers have a lot to handle and rarely get extra time or resources to help them with the needs of immigrant children But there s barely a hint that the author even disapproves When Ana s comes to America, things are very different from her life back home in Congo Her family is split up, people don t speak in French, and the food is very strange But Ana s s grandmother asked her to write letters in English and to include in each letter one good thing about America, and Ana s is determined to keep her promise Starting on the first day of fourth grade, Ana s writes often to Oma At first, writing in English is hard, and finding good things to say about America is even When Ana s comes to America, things are very different from her life back home in Congo Her family is split up, people don t speak in French, and the food is very strange But Ana s s grandmother asked her to write letters in English and to include in each letter one good thing about America, and Ana s is determined to keep her promise Starting on the first day of fourth grade, Ana s writes often to Oma At first, writing in English is hard, and finding good things to say about America is even harder Sometimes worries about her Papa, her brother Olivier, and Oma overshadow the good things that are beginning to happen for Ana s But over time, Ana s begins to make friends, build a community, and find many good things about America.Told in compelling letters from Ana s to her grandmother, One Good Thing About America is an important book for children to read today Though Ruth Freeman is not herself an immigrant, her work as a teacher of English Language Learners in Maine has helped her to put her finger on the pulse of child immigrants in America today, and her compassion has allowed her to show the complexity of immigrating to a country in which the language, the customs, and the expectations are all completely unknown The story includes not only Ana s s experiences, but also some insight into immigrants from Iraq, Somalia, and Libya In my opinion, Freeman soft pedals the frictions and misunderstandings that are likely to occur between children in school, perhaps equally in service to other elements of the story and in order to keep the focus on the many other challenges immigrants must face For me, this decision works and makes One Good Thing About America a hopeful and heartwarming read I d recommend this novel as a classroom or bedtime read aloud or for students to read on their own This debut novel will provoke great discussions between parents and children, teachers and students, and dare I hope politicians and constituents.I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman tells an important story 9 year old Anais experience moving from DRC to a new school in the United States Anais mother and little brother are with her, but her grandmother, father, and brother have not been able to come to the United States It s clear that Freeman has worked with students in similar situations and helped them navigate acclimating into a new culture Becomingproficient in English is definitely a focus for Anais and her famil One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman tells an important story 9 year old Anais experience moving from DRC to a new school in the United States Anais mother and little brother are with her, but her grandmother, father, and brother have not been able to come to the United States It s clear that Freeman has worked with students in similar situations and helped them navigate acclimating into a new culture Becomingproficient in English is definitely a focus for Anais and her family, but missing her family, unfamiliar weather, idioms, making friends, culture shock, unaccepting people, etc are evenchallenging than her language struggles I m torn on the writing style of the book It s an epistolary novel, told only from Anais POV to her Oma who is still living in DRC Anais references letters and phone calls that she receives back from her Oma, but none of those conversations make it in the book they are summarized through Anais in her letters back to Oma Oma wants her to write the letters in English, and she has them translated so she can understand them Because she is an English Language Learner, Anais writes very simply, and her writing understandably has many errors in her writing She often repeats the same sentiments wanting to hear from her father, wanting an apartment, thanking Oma for talking to her on the phone, wondering if her brother s arm will heal , and those are obviously extremely important concerns in her life, but from my perspective as a reader, I wanted to hearfrom her I m also torn on who this novel is really for In thinking about my students, I absolutely think the messages in there are ones that all of them would benefit from hearing, but I don t know if the writing style is one that would capture their interest Because of the simplicity and repetition, I found myself hoping foraction in the plot, and I think middle school readers might feel the same As an adult reader, I loved the messages, and while I understand the reasoning behind the writing style, it made the book less engaging for me One Good Thing About AmericaRuth Freeman This insightful, warm hearted book addresses a critical American problem the integration of child refugees into the American family Anais, her mother, and her little brother flee Congo to come to America They leave behind an older brother and Anais father who is being hunted by the government s army and the government controlled mining company for which he worked The danger to the family is so great that Anais family, unknown to her, impoverished th One Good Thing About AmericaRuth Freeman This insightful, warm hearted book addresses a critical American problem the integration of child refugees into the American family Anais, her mother, and her little brother flee Congo to come to America They leave behind an older brother and Anais father who is being hunted by the government s army and the government controlled mining company for which he worked The danger to the family is so great that Anais family, unknown to her, impoverished themselves to make sure that three family members reach safety in the United States In a series of emotional letters to her grandmother, Anais documents the problems of a child coming to a new country with a different climate, different customs, and a totally new language Early on, Anais loses her name because her teacher Americanizes it to Annie She struggles to make friends but is fortunate to have a supportive teacher an outstanding ELL teacher and an immigrant janitor who offers her a role model of an adult who does what must be done to become a real American Annie s grandmother, also still in Africa, charges her with finding one thing a day that she likes about America Sometimes she struggles to identify the good things but gradually she can see the benefits of her new home Even the shelter in which her family lives becomes an extended family with distinct reasons for ending up in the shelter The undercurrent of the book is her continued worry for her father and brother s safety as they work their way to a refugee camp in Kenya Anais struggle to fit in is not that different from the experience of generations of new Americans However, the story is muchseems muchrelevant considering current nationalistic sentiments A book to open hearts and minds to newcomers struggles.BIBLIO 2017, Holiday House, Ages 7 to 12, 16.95.REVIEWER Lois Rubin GrossFORMAT Middle ReaderISBN 978 0 8234 3695 8 Anais was the star of her English class in Africa, but now she, her mother and her little brother are living in a shelter in the United States They have left her father, her brother and her Oma grandma behind to face the fighting and the soldiers Anais begins fourth grade in crazy America and decides to write a daily letter to Oma to tell her how much she misses her, how much she longs for her life in Africa and how she is experiencing all sorts of strange things in this new country Lucki Anais was the star of her English class in Africa, but now she, her mother and her little brother are living in a shelter in the United States They have left her father, her brother and her Oma grandma behind to face the fighting and the soldiers Anais begins fourth grade in crazy America and decides to write a daily letter to Oma to tell her how much she misses her, how much she longs for her life in Africa and how she is experiencing all sorts of strange things in this new country Luckily Oma is able to respond and when she does challenges her granddaughter to find one good thing about America every day This proves to be a difficult task, especially when there are crazy things like chicken fingers and all of the uncooperative vowels of the English language But she soon finds lots of good things too, like Thanksgiving, fall leaves and snow, even though she continues to ache for her Oma, her older brother and most of all her papa Anais s story is beautifully told and is one that everyone should read, both children and adults It is at times heartbreaking, but also a funny and uplifting description of a family s struggles to adapt to a new country where everything from the climate, to the food, to the language is drastically different from what they have left behind It also enables one to feel and to understand the fear they experience about their family members who were left behind It would be a great read aloud in a classroom to help the children both develop a better understanding of immigration, and to develop empathy for the refugees who come to our country to find a new and safer life This book should be in every elementary library and another copy in all ELL classrooms I appreciated the first person narrative over a stretch of time that revealed the adjustments that must be made by an immigrant in every avenue of life Navigating language, culture, friends, expectations, longing for home, missing family members, belonging and not belonging and the list goes on and on Just when Anais thinks she might understand something another new idea expectation is thrown at her by life And then there is my own embarrassment at judgements and expectations I put on a perso I appreciated the first person narrative over a stretch of time that revealed the adjustments that must be made by an immigrant in every avenue of life Navigating language, culture, friends, expectations, longing for home, missing family members, belonging and not belonging and the list goes on and on Just when Anais thinks she might understand something another new idea expectation is thrown at her by life And then there is my own embarrassment at judgements and expectations I put on a person of another culture humbling to see these situations through the other person s eyes ARC provided by publisher at ALAAnais and her mother and brother Jean Claud have moved to the United States from Congo, leaving behind her father, Oma, and older brother Olivier She is living in a room in a shelter, and trying her best to survive at school She misses being in Africa, where it is warmer and sunnier than it is in Maine, but her teacher tells her to think of one good thing about America every day Some days it is easier than others Anais is worried about her father, who is being ARC provided by publisher at ALAAnais and her mother and brother Jean Claud have moved to the United States from Congo, leaving behind her father, Oma, and older brother Olivier She is living in a room in a shelter, and trying her best to survive at school She misses being in Africa, where it is warmer and sunnier than it is in Maine, but her teacher tells her to think of one good thing about America every day Some days it is easier than others Anais is worried about her father, who is being watched by the police, and doesn t understand why it is so hard for her mother to be granted asylum and for her father and brother to come to America She makes some friends at school, enjoys her classes, and learns many of the crazy customs and practices of America Strengths I very much appreciated that the author based this book on her work with students during her internship in ELL classes She also says that she can t know exactly what it is like for her students who are new to this country, but that until they can write their own stories, she hopes this book will fill a need I agree We have a fair amount of ELL students in my building, and Anais voice was very similar to one of my students in particular I, too, would like to buy books written by ownvoices authors, but untilare available, I think that authors who have experience working with children in these situations are a good resource for my students to understand what it must be like Weaknesses I m never a fan of dialect and misspellings, although I understand the choice to use them While there are some web sites to direct readers to information about what is going on in Africa, I would have liked a short explanation within the book What I really think I think I will buy a copy of this, and I know that our ELL teacher will want to read it

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