This is a story about new beginnings. The story begins with three children taking turns standing in front of a classroom and saying, “I am new here.” We learn what it is like to be in a place where everything seems different. These children come from countries where their words sound different; sometimes even the letters of the alphabet are different. Maria is from Guatemala, Jin is from Korea, and Fatimah is from Somalia.
Readers will be drawn in emotionally as they hear the thoughts going through each child’s mind:
“Back home I knew the language . . .”
“Back home I could read and write . . .”
“Back home I was part of the class . . .”
The differences between what they know and the newness they face conjure up many feelings:
“Here I am alone.”
“Here I am confused.”
“Here I am sad.”
One page at a time, we see the children overcome the challenges of being “new.” And by the end of the story, we see that new beginnings are full of promise. This book speaks to the children who have an important role in helping a new child feel welcome as well as to the child who is struggling to adjust.
After hearing the story read aloud once, children will be able to page through on their own and let the pictures tell the story. The pictures are so full of life and emotion that it’s an easy picture read for young preschool and early elementary school students.
Parents, teachers, and support staff will appreciate having this book on hand as a resource or as a great picture book for any child, anytime!
I’m New Here is included in Becker’s Diversity Today Book Set and can also be purchased separately.
Reviewed by Leslie S. Eslinger, Education and Product Specialist, Becker's School Supplies