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I'm New Here

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  748 ratings  ·  219 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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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  748 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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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
Amy Holland
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
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: boy-i-cry
I read this to my Sunday School class of 4-8 year olds. All but one of them are from refugee families who moved to the US in the last couple of years. They're a kind of rowdy bunch but once they realized what the story was about, they were super engaged, helped point out what was happening, connected it to their own experiences, and were just dead quiet listening. I was holding back tears. It was great 10/5
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educ378fall2017
This book will be awesome for not only new students in general, but also for international students. It shows students different children of different backgrounds trying to adapt to their "new life" as well as connecting to their peers. Even though the new children in the book have a severe language barrier with their classmates, they still try to find ways to connect. One way to connect, will be finding something that they might have in common, as in a favorite toy, or a favorite c
Brenda Aguilar-Hernandez
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
"I'm New Here" is a realistic-fiction book. It tells a story about three different children coming to a new home, America. They are all from different places of the world, therefore speak different languages, dress differently, and come from different cultural backgrounds. These three children face struggles into this big change, but gradually become brave to overcome this situation and adapt to their new home. The story truly captures the process immigrant children face when starting school in ...more
Diana Garcia
This book showed the life of three students from their perspective. They each had a different challenges whether it was adjusting to the language or the American culture itself. The three started off feeling uncomfortable but learned to love the new life in America.

The reason I chose this for my text-set is to add cultural variety when speaking of immigrant children. There are people who come from all around the world to create a new home here in America. It's such a hard adjustment for them to
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
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even though this book is short and has little text on each page, the vocabulary is difficult and more appropriate for more advanced ELLs.

The author is co-founder of a website that is an excellent resource for ESL teachers:

This site allows teachers and librarians to search by country and situation to find books related to the immigrant and refugee experience.

Love the site!
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.
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. :)
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
great way to help students see the difficulties others have in adapting to a new country. also great for those new to America because it helps them see others have had the same struggles and they can be overcome.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
3 students are new at the school, each coming from a different country. Their feelings of isolation and worry and well as their budding friendships are shown. A wonderful book to help young children ddevelop empathy for those who have recently immigrated.
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.
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.
Morgan Hollis
This book is all about three new students from three different countries that come to America and are immediately integrated into schools. It takes the reader through their thoughts and experiences and then goes on to show that they are accepted by their peers and that they are learning American words and how to write, too. This author has won many awards for her authentic representations of different cultures, including the National Education Association’s Author-Illustrator Human and Civil Rig ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a good introduction to diversity issues for children. It shows several children from different countries and cultures who are trying to learn English in school and play with other children in the USA. The author is an American who went to elementary school in South Korea and had the experience of learning to adapt to a different culture in another country. I appreciated her efforts to show how it feels to be a child in that situation....

There is also an animated short film that brings th
Sydney Rames
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I think as a child in the school system in the USA, it is hard to grasp that not everyone around you will speak your language, look like you, or follow the same religion/morals. I really liked the pronunciation pictures showing how a new student who is not fluent in English may hear and be confused by the language. I am always a fan of anything that promote inclusion and open mindedness, and this book does just that by showing the struggle of these students. They even ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I read Someone New first, and I really like how the two are connected providing the same story from both perspectives. A necessity for classrooms today, and thus a necessity for public libraries as well.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good picture book that teaches empathy and explores what it is like for students from other countries and cultures to come to an American school. I read this to my 6-year old, and we had a good discussion about what it feels like for these kids and how he can be a good friend to them.
Brittany Soder
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarian-reads
A sweet and poignant story about three students who are new to their schools and this country. An accessible look into the experience of new students for all children to read and understand.
Tori Kalberer
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-realistic
Awards the book has received: n/a
Appropriate grade level(s): K-3rd
Original 3-line summary: This book follows three immigrant students who are new to each of their classes. These students, Maria, Jin and Fatima, struggle to make friends and understand their new surroundings. As the school year progresses, the students' classmates show kindness towards the new students, making them feel more at home.
Original 3-line review: This realistic story can be relatable to young immigrant students as well
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story of the fears and realities that children who are new to a country face.
Emily Scanlon
Guided Reading Level: K

Summary: Three students who have moved to the United States share their experience as they adapt to their new world in elementary school.

Writing Trait: Voice – The author of this story connects personally to the message because she too moved to a different country as a child. The credibility of her understanding is evident by the various examples she provides. This book can be used as a Mentor Text to help students understand voice in writing as they are preparing to writ
Richie Partington
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love the idea of this picture book comparing and contrasting the experiences of three children who are recently arrived in the US, but I think having that three storylines made the book feel a little disjointed. I would have loved to read a dual narrative version with two immigrant or refugee children whose experiences are juxtaposed side by side on each page spread. I think that approach would have allowed the author to go deeper into the emotions of leaving home and trying to assimilate some ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
diverse picture book (preschool-1st/2nd grades; refugees and immigrants/moving/community)
* Prominently features diverse characters: focusing on a Mexican girl, a Korean boy, and a Muslim girl with dark skin, but their classmates are also ethnically diverse.
* Would work for a preschool storytime: large colorful pictures and short text. The content can be engaging if the kids can somehow relate (moving to a new school or having classmates who've recently come to the US). It might not resonate with
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-kid-lit
Anne Sibley O'Brien has created a simple book that shows some of the obstacles children face when their families move to America. They have to learn a new language, new customs, new rules, and make new friends. She shows three children - Maria from Guatemala, Jin from Korea, and Fatimah from Somalia - and different situations at school in which they try to fit in. Maria watches classmates playing at recess and wishes she understood what they were saying and could join them. The illustration show ...more
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Immigrants and Refugees in Picture Books 1 3 Jul 10, 2018 01:40PM  
newbie 1 3 Feb 27, 2017 06:20AM  

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