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I'm New Here

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  425 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
Maria is from Guatemala, Jin is from Korea, and Fatima is from Somalia. All three are new to their American elementary school, and each has trouble speaking, writing, and sharing ideas in English. Through self-determination and with encouragement from their peers and teachers, the students learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense o ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Charlesbridge
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(showing 1-30)
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It's hard to describe how well-done this is. In simple sentences and visuals, it depicts the experiences of three children who have come from different countries to classrooms in the United States, and struggle to speak English, write English, and participate in a differently-run classroom. If you are an educator or librarian with immigrant children or ESOL children in your life, this is a must-have. And be sure to check out the site for an incredible collecti ...more
Aug 29, 2015 added it
Shelves: j-picture-books
Popularity/appeal rating: 3

Quality rating: 4

In a one-sentence nutshell:
May not be the most popular book, but it's an important one because of how it explains what it feels like to be new to a country where you don't speak the language. Will hopefully inspire empathy and compassion for new students, especially those where English is not their first language.
Vang Xiong
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This has got to be one of my more favorite books. I love the fact that this book not only teaches students a lesson, but educators as well. We live in a society that is filled with diversity. This book captures that essence, specifically within the school walls. I love the fact that the author poses real challenges that students who are new to the U.S actually face in school. The discussion of cultural clash and the feeling of alienation, confusion, and aloneness, were feelings who, I, once had ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
n I’m New Here, the stories of three children from other countries struggle to adjust to their new school in the United States. The children are from Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea. They struggle with speaking, reading, and writing in English. The words of their new language sound strange and look like scribbles and scratches. They also struggle with making friends. The people and places around them used to be familiar; now they can’t find their place. The rest of the story tells how the three ch ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book had a simple, but clear, message about the adjustment and uncertainties that children feel immigrating to a new culture, home, and school. It struck a personal chord, since one of the little children was Jin from Korea. :)
Jacinda Drakulich
Diverse Literature Text Set: All as One

Rationale: This book introduces us to three children, Maria, Jin and Fatimah. The three children are from different countries and are trying to assimilate their new school in America. The book points out the differences they are seeing and feeling about the language, the school and the other children. In the story the children make friends and are accepted by the other children by way of their “talents.” Maria makes friends by playing soccer, Jin makes frie
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll-538
Everything in their old school’s was familiar, but now everything is different. “Im New Here,” tells the story of three immigrant children as they try to acclimate to their new lives far away from home. Maria from Guatemala, Jin from Korea, and Fatimah from Somalia all struggle to overcome the language barrier, finding much of their school work impossible. While the beginning of their journey is filled with loneliness and confusion their perseverance and bravery allow the students to overcome th ...more
Really well rendered and sensitive book. Also highly relevant, given the current Syrian refugee crisis. This book shows the difficulties that immigrant children have when trying to adjust to new language and culture, from the point of view of three children from different cultures. It is also a very positive and hopeful book. Definitely a good addition to your collection.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"I'm New Here" is a must for every library and classroom. A very important book.
Very timely book in light of the current political year.
Edward Sullivan
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Heartfelt, empathetic portraits of three immigrant children struggling to adjust to their new American elementary school. Thoughtful and reassuring.
Mary Little
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brief Review
Starting to a new school can be pretty scary. Now imagine you're starting to a new school and don't speak the language. This fictional book follows Maria, Jin, and Fatima. Each child deals with the fear and frustration of learning a new language and culture. The author tackles a difficult subject in a simple way that children can understand.

Content Areas
This is a great book for teaching young students about language barriers, compassion, and tolerance. After reading the book aloud
Zheling Zhang
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is about how students with diverse cultures adapt a new environment. There are three main characters. Maria is from Guatemala, Jin is from Korea, and Fatima is from Somalia. They are alone, sad, and confused in their new class. They cannot understand the new words and don’t have new friends. But after they tried to learn new words and found new friends, they started to adapt the new environment.
I will use this book to teach students about culture because the book gives them a positive s
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Incredibly well-done book to help born-American kids develop some understanding and empathy for immigrant and (as the book calls them) New-American kids who might be joining their class. Presented from the POV of 3 new students, readers will be asked to imagine what it would be like to not only leave behind your friends/family/home/community, but then be dropped in a school where you don't speak the language - or suddenly be unable to read anything - or just plain not know how people live in thi ...more
Katie Merkel
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I'm New Here" by Anne Sibley O'Brien does a nice job of capturing the struggle immigrant children go through when attending a school in the U.S. for the first time. The text and artwork are beautiful.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Three young students from other countries begin attending a new school in the United States. Follow Maria, Jin, and Fatimah as they make new friends, learn new languages, and discover their own talents. A wonderful story! Berry loved Fatimah. :)
Bess Fary
I liked this book because it showed some of the struggles that students face when they move to America. By the end of the book, they learned to overcome their fears. This would be a good book to teach students about acceptance and perseverance when they enter unfamiliar situations.
Emily Fields
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is very cute and simple for younger kids. It really allows students to see other students point of view when moving to a new country. It also uses some repitition, which is great for younger students!
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschool-read
My five-year-old Chicagoan liked this book a lot. Our discussion dealt not only with empathy and inclusion, but also persistence and courage: all three new kids struggled with the new language and culture, but through their perseverance and bravery found niches in their new community.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
A great book to read for the new kids in your class who come from other countries.
Miss Sarah
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Three new students from different countries try to assimilate to a new elementary school. Loved that each was different and found their place in different ways. preschool and up
Mary Lee
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love that this book is about ME, not THEM.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Immigrant and refugee experience for younger kids, in a well done picture book format.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this simple, but important, book three children tell how it feels to begin life and school in a new country. Short simple sentences and clear illustrations.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This wonderful, timely picture book is perfect to share with young children regarding immigration and kindness to all who are new. Welcoming, inclusive and kind!
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Simple, yet very poignant.
A wonderful way to introduce students to the challenges and needs of new students, particularly those who do not speak any English. By showcasing their educational skills and talents in their native languages and their desire to make friends, learn and fit in - classmates can gain a new appreciation of the ways in which they can help the transition of immigrant children to a new school, culture and friends.
Richie Partington
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: I’M NEW HERE by Anne Sibley O’Brien, Charlesbridge, August 2015, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-58089-612-2

“Skyscrapers bloom in America.
Cadillacs zoom in America.
Industry boom in America.
Twelve in a room in America.”
Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, from West Side Story (1957)

“Back home I knew the language.”
“Back home I could read and write.”
“Back home I was part of the class.”

Immigration has always been a heated topic of discussion. At the dawn of the twentieth centu
Tram Nguyen
It is a simple picture book about 3 new students who just moved from different countries. I'm New Here is a realistic fiction where the kids are trying to assimilate. The book did a good job of pointing out different emotions and perspective for each children. For instance, Maria who spoke in Spanish was seeing the language differently and the dialogue was exactly how she heard. The words were broken down as if a baby is gaining its phonological awareness. As each child goes through this challen ...more
Carol Jen
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple text, lovely illustrations, great book about what it's like to be an immigrant child in a new school, new world.
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newbie 1 1 Feb 27, 2017 06:20AM  
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