BOOK REVIEWS

Who Belongs Here?: An American Story (2nd Edition) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-06-30 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 6 user ratings
ISBN:0884486397
LANGUAGE:English

" Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss. " said.

" I discovered this book when searching for another book--Talking Walls--by the same author. This is another great book to have in all school and/or classroom libraries. There is an activity guide that goes along with this book that might be interesting to explore. " said.

" Great story! Also great to see how a young boy can make a difference in the attitudes of his peers. I would keep this book in the classroom library and have it hand for if there is a case of bullying due to cultural differences, I would also use it if doing a Social Studies lesson about Cambodia or about the diversity that is found in America. " said.

"Grade Level/Interest Interest Level Grades 3 - 5
Reading Level: 900L (5th)
Main Characters: Nary
POV: First Person (Nary)



The book is about the long history of immigration into the United States by many different peoples and how they sometimes have had difficulty being fully accepted. It is narrated by a young boy named Nary, a Cambodian refugee who has just moved to America. The text does not flow smoothly throughout the book. For that reason I would not use it in the classroom, unless I choose to only give the students the factual information presented in the text. In that instance, we would not read the entire book, instead just pull out certain pieces.
" said.

"Well, there’s not much poetic about this book. It starts off as though it will be a storybook but quickly changes into a non-fiction text type book; the way it all fit together seemed a bit incongruous to me. It’s based on true stories and contains valuable information for children about respecting diversity and the evils of intolerance. The book is about the long history of immigration into the United States by many different peoples and how they sometimes have had difficulty being fully accepted. I was gratified to see brief mention (too short) about the Native Americans who lived and continue to live in the U.S. and farther along the story mentions made of the Iroquois Confederation. The text does not flow smoothly throughout the book. I’m not sure if the book tried to do too much or communicated too little. I do recommend it though for its message and the information given about U.S. being a land of immigrants and for the story that starts off the book. I enjoyed the illustrations and appreciated how their tone changed to fit each page of text." said.

"Even more relevant now than it was first written, this story of a boy who leaves behind his homeland to settle in the United States is poignant and troubling. Nary and his family were forced to leave Cambodia because of the violence in the country. The boy suffered many losses and was confused as he had to live in a refugee camp in Thailand before finally relocating here. But all is not perfect. Even though he had hoped to be accepted, Nary experiences bullying and unfriendly comments that don't make him feel welcome or as though he belongs here. Alongside Nary's story, the author poses questions about who belongs in this country and just how few of the nation's citizens are not immigrants or their descendants. There are also sidebars next to his story that credit the U.S. Constitution, in part, to the Iroquois's Great Law of Peace. The questions raised in this book are important ones to consider as our nation once again faces issues surrounding immigration and immigration laws, and the back matter provides additional information about the events and individuals referred to in the text. There is even a section that focuses on terms associated with immigration. Some of the softly-colored images show scenes of violence and fear while others celebrate the nation's rich diversity. Unquestionably, after reading the book, many students will have questions about immigration policies and might want to discuss their own family's journey to this country. It is interesting to consider how many of us or our own families might have been allowed into these portals if the migration had been occurring today. This book offers an excellent starting place to explore important questions about who is allowed into this country and who is denied access and why. " said.

" Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss. " said.

" I discovered this book when searching for another book--Talking Walls--by the same author. This is another great book to have in all school and/or classroom libraries. There is an activity guide that goes along with this book that might be interesting to explore. " said.

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