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The New Kids Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens

ISBN: 9781439163306 | 1439163308
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Atria Books
Pub. Date: 5/1/2012

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"A refreshing reminder of the hurdles newcomers to this country still face and how many defy the odds to overcome them," writes The New York Times, this inspiring work of narrative journalism recounts a year in the life at the International High School at Prospect Heights, where students come from more than forty-five countries and speak more than twenty-eight languages.Some walked across deserts and mountains to get here. Others flew in on planes. One arrived after escaping in a suitcase. And some won't say how they got here. These are "the new kids:" new to America. They attend the International High School, which is like most high schools in some ways, but all of the students are recent immigrants learning English. Among the students featured in the book, chosen as one of People magazine's "Great Reads": Ngawang, who spent twenty-four hours folded up in a small suitcase to escape from Tibet; Mohamed, a diamond miner's son from Sierra Leone whose arrival in New York City is shrouded in mystery; and Chit Su, a Burmese refugee who is the only person to speak her language in the entire school. The teenagers in this modern-day Babel deal with enormous obstacles: traumas and wars in their native countries that haunt them, and cultural pressures to marry or to drop out and go to work. They aren't just jostling for their places in the high school pecking orderthey are carving out new lives for themselves in America.

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