Monday, June 12, 2017

One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman - ADVISABLE

Freeman, Ruth One Good Thing About America, 156 pgs. Holiday House, 2017. $16.95. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.  

9-year-old Anaïs is a refugee from The Congo.  She and her mother and baby brother Jean-Claude are living in a shelter while her mother applies for asylum.  Anaïs' father is still in Africa, trying to keep one step ahead of the soldiers who are looking for him.  Anaïs writes letters (in English) to her Oma back at home.  Oma wants Anaïs to learn English quickly and has someone who can translate.  She has encouraged Anaïs to find one good thing about America every day.  Most of her letters are about her school experiences - holidays, her teachers, friends and food.  

This is an enlightening look into the difficult lives of refugees.  The difficulty of learning a new language while trying to adapt to the culture and even climate of the USA, all the while worrying about family back home, makes this transition difficult at best. An author’s note at the end explains the spelling challenges (often Anaïs would spell phonetically) encountered by english language learners as well as websites where the reader can learn more about refugees and immigration. 

EL - ADVISABLE  Lisa Librarian

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