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First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  35 reviews
"Stories by eleven well-known authors touch on a variety of teen experiences, with enough attitude and angst to speak to young adults anywhere." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Fleeing from political violence in Venezuela, Amina and her family have settled in the United States. Sarah, adopted, is desperate to know her Korean birth parents. Adrian’s friends have some spooky — and h
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published September 9th 2004)
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As you know, friends, I normally write reviews that are pages and pages long and that ramble off in random, unrelated-to-the-book directions. But I’m running late right now, and have to get this book returned to the library because the middle schools are using it in a program this month and we’re almost out of available copies.

So! Straight and to the point!

I tend not to like short story collections. There are exceptions, obviously, but for the most part I find that I’ll enjoy one or two storie

I enjoyed reading First Crossing edited by Donald R. Gallo. He found different stories about immigrant teens and how they came to the United States. One of the stories that I read was called First Crossing by Pam Munoz Ryan. It’s about a young boy and his father trying to cross the border to go to the United States to work and support their family in Mexico. The father and son had a difficult life working hard in the fields to help the family with food and clothes. In addition their work allowed
Kate Brown
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of 10 short stories. I feel like 6 out of the 10 would be suitable to use in the classroom as mentor texts. The four that I would not use are; "First Crossing", "Pulling Up Stakes", " The Rose of Sharon", and "Make Maddie Mad". "First Crossing" seems to encourage the immigration of illegal immigrants from Mexico without going through the legal process of becoming U.S. Citizens. It might open up an interesting debate, but the controversy and message may be a b ...more
Allison Z.
This was the first short story anthology I read, and fortunately for me, it did not disappoint. First Crossing gave me new perspective, writing about people from many different places, all moving to America. Reading about people going back and forth from Mexico to America and then Mexico again to earn enough money made me more sympathetic and less judgmental towards people who are less fortunate. I also enjoyed the variety in the stories, some being about different culture, others about the proc ...more
Review originally posted on my old YA Materials blog.

What I have can never -- and should never be -- copyrighted. What has been passed on to me is harder than any hardware, softer than any software. A series of words, a sequence of movements -- a story, a dance, these things Grandma passed on to me, these things that are almost sacred in their simplicity. And they are mine, yet they belong to me only as much as the flame of a candle belongs to its wick. When the candle is melted away, the flame
Shaeley Santiago
A short stories collection around the theme of immigration. I was impressed that many different ethnicities were represented in this book. There was a Cambodian girl who worked in her father's furniture shop but dreamed of dancing again for her grandmother. There was a Swede whose father's business bought out a local paper mill, so his high school classmates took out their frustration on him. One story was about a Palestinian Arab playing quarterback for his Albuquerque, NM team. Another story i ...more

In this book, there was a wide variety of stories all focusing on the topic of teen immigrants living in America. When I was first reading this book, I was dreading the thought that all of the stories were going to be the same; about families sneaking into America. As I kept reading, I read through a variety of stories that all had different plots. For example, in one story the family from Haiti had been living in America for a long time, and the story was simp
Quoting from the introduction: "this book includes...stories [from:] Mexican, Venezuelan, Kazakh, Chinese, Romanian, Palestinian, Swedish, Korean, Haitian and Cambodian [cultures:]. All these stories are fiction, though they have their basis in real-life events. Whether recounting or only mirroring real events, these stories show teenagers making their way across borders from there to here, by foot and by plane. You will see most of them struggling through school, fending off prejudice and misco ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Danielle0z0 marked it as to-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First Crossing by Donald R. Gallo
"First Crossing" by Donald R. Gallo is a book about teens who have lived in other countries than America. These teens come to America because their parents are wanting to live a better life for the sake of their children. Some teens have been adopted by Americans. Growing up in America makes them curious about their other homeland. These immigrants are heroes and heroines no matter what country or culture they leave. Coming to a new and strange part of the world
Japheth Baugh
Jun 07, 2007 Japheth Baugh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
When assigned to read "First Crossing" by Donald R. Gallo I thought it would be another mediocre story about illegal immigramts. I later found it to be quite exciting. I found it interesting how the mexicans had to sneak in to the United States by any means necessary. I also found how the "coyote" or the person sneakin them into the States smuggled them in boxes, trunks, under cars and even in the hood of cars very interesting. The mexicans trying to cross the border risked the arrest of the bor ...more
I really wanted to like this but the stories were hit and miss for me. I picked it up mostly because I wanted to read the story by Rita Williams-Garcia after reading One Crazy Summer , which, awesome book...maybe read that instead :)

Anyway, some of the stories were good but I found too many of them to be boring. The biggest problem I had, though, was that some of the stories -- mostly the ones written by authors who are not actually immigrants and/or from the cultures of the characters whose POV
Heleina Conejos
Summary: Although there is an increasing amount of immigrants to the United States from all over the world, their stories are not frequently expressed. Teen voices talk about struggles with learning English, assimilation, and struggling living in two different cultures.

Classroom use: This anthology would be a useful tool in discussing the highly debatable issue of immigration in the United States in a high school United States history classroom. Students should know about the struggles others ha
Alex Templeton
This was my latest attempt to read and gather good short stories for middle school kids. Unfortunately, I didn't find much good material here. I felt like much of the work was subpar in a literary sense, and/or written specifically for this collection rather than the writer's own need. Frankly, many of the pieces just seemed too clichéd or in some cases cutesy: I can't imagine some of the middle schoolers I've taught getting much out of them that they haven't heard before. I will note Alden Cart ...more
I liked the variety in these stories; the teens all come from different places and face different problems. My favorite was definitely, "First Crossing." My students loved it, and it was a great starting place for discussions about immigration because it doesn't really take a side.
I LOVED this book. It was kinda how I envision one of those 'culture days' would be like in school (We never really had those days in the schools I attended). It was like every turn of the page was a new experience just waiting to be had. I chuckled, I sympathized, my eyes misted, I remembered. It was great to read stories from male and female perspectives, to feel the sense of triumph they felt when they accomplished something or when they overcame an obstacle. Though these were works of fictio ...more
First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants is a charming collection of stories.

Each situation in each story is unique, yet every situation in this collection has that underlying common thread, moving to another country.
I really appreciated the diversity of perspectives in this collection of stories about teen immigrants and also the quality of writing given that these stories are written by real writers such as Pam Munoz Ryan and Minfong Ho. I also loved the fact that, in each story, the characters grow and become better people in one way or another. The fact that they are immigrants is a central characteristic, but it is only one piece of the larger puzzle of navigating the complex world of families, school, ...more
A collection of ten short stories centered around teenage immigrants and some of the issues they face.

Just as in real life, the immigrants in these stories are from many different cultural backgrounds and come to live in America for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the highlights: "First Crossing" about a Mexican boy's first illegal trip into the US; "Pulling Up Stakes" about a Transylvanian boy who finds himself befriended by a group of vampire-loving goth kids; "The Green Armchair" about a y
I don't read a lot of short stories and collections like this are rare for me, but I was intrigued by the topic. I was rather disappointed to find that it was a collection of fictional stories, but in reading the notes about each author, many are based on real experiences and research.

The stories in this book feature protagonists or immigrant characters from many locations - Cambodia, Sweden, Pakistan, Mexico, and others. Each story conveys the feelings of a different culture. I enjoyed the var
Sep 20, 2008 Brooke rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, including my English language learners
This was on a high school reading list in Philadelphia for the summer of '08. I liked it alot. It is very accessible to students because each of the short stories stands alone. Each of the short stories is written by a different author, focuses on a particular challenge that teen immigrants face, and describes how a certain teen overcomes the challenge. A range of countries and cultures are represented. I was a little disappointed to find that the stories themselves are not true, although they a ...more
I had hoped this would be a collection of nonfiction accounts, so I had to let go of that disappointment to properly receive this book. As a collection of short stories by different authors, quality of the material ranges from okay to really good. Some take a lighthearted approach to the material, and some get in to the gritty reality (both of entry into the country and acts of discrimination), but overall I feel it provides a good overview of the teen immigrant experience. Favorite stories: "Fi ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Nadia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Raul Rojas
The book is amazing just finshed a short story about a boy about my age crossing the border.The author connect with movies like how timon nd pumma say "no worrys" this telling how people from mexico fear when there separate from there love ones it hurts to say this but many people don't. know how bad Mexicans want to live good nd knowing they will always but food on the table for there love ones.I love this book willing to tell more but stay tone for more
Kevin Sassman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenni Frencham
This book is a collection of stories by various authors about immigrants crossing into America as teens and the troubles they had to endure to be here. I enjoyed the variety of the short stories as well as the perspective on immigration they displayed. I could see this book being popular with teens, especially in settings where many different cultures collide.
First crossing is about teen immigrant's that have to get used to the way Americans live and do stuff.
In one story a Romanian kid went to Alaska and their classmates thought he was a vampire.He never told them that he wasn't.Another story is about a Kazakhstan girl who here parents want her to be a perfect student and watch her brother.
Donna Siebold
Fictionalized accounts of young immigrants and how they came to the US. Most are based on true stories of the teen's family members. Interesting and yet still somewhat flat - a good reminder of how many different nationalities make up the United States and how immigrants are viewed and acclimate to their new locale.
Great collection of short stories from some very prominent authors of young adult literature. This is NOT a collection of stories of real people. These are all fictional books; although most are influenced by the authors' immigrant upbringings.
Tara Zelvy
Great introduction with second person point of view. I'm looking forward to using this book in my middle school language arts classroom as I shift into Common Core.
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"Stories about journeys have interested readers since the beginning of language," says Donald R. Gallo of DESTINATION UNEXPECTED, his critically acclaimed anthology of short stories by prominent writers of young adult fiction. "Arriving at the destination is the goal, certainly, but the experiences during the journey itself are what transform the character. The most important experiences are often ...more
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