Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Review of 'Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a St. Paul High School' by Green Card Youth Voices

Please note: this is a book I read in 2017.  Due to starting a new job, I kept up in reading but fell behind in blogging.  Reviews for 2018 reads will begin after the remaining 2017 reviews are posted.  Thank you for your patience!

"Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a St. Paul High School is a collection f thirty personal essays written by immigrant students from LEAP High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Included with each essay is a link to a first-person video narrative.  Coming from thirteen different countries, these young people share their life journeys in their own words.  Some fled xenophobia, others came to be reunited with family, and all left behind loved ones: parents, children, friends.  Throughout it all, each of these young people exhibits tremendous resiliency, courage, and unabashed hope as they imagine their futures in this new country.

The digital and written narratives in this book are exceptional resources for anyone looking to learn more about the human side of the immigrant experience.  By seeking ourselves reflected in each of these stories, we begin to build the necessary bridges that will bring us towards a deeper understanding of one another."

I think I've mentioned this before, but my kids are working on a unit about immigration and race.  The ESL teacher let me borrow this book.  I didn't use it as a tool for the students this year, but with some minor adjustments, I would like to use this with my students next year when they take on this unit.

This was a really neat book because all of the people featured in this book live in my neck of the woods and it was interesting to see how, even though a number of these people come from different places, their experiences were similar in a lot of ways.  I don't think I really expected that.  Of course, emigrating to another country is a life-changing move, but because the experiences overlapped in a number of ways, it kind of drove home in my mind that this is something we (as in people) have always done and will always do.  It's not something to be treated as weird or strange.

The other special thing about this book is that all of these stories talk about how they made it to where they are and even talk about their hopes and dreams for the future.  Emigrating to a new country is not the be-all and end-all goal.  There is still work to be done after you arrive and that work is acknowledged in this book.

I don't know if I would go and read any of the other additions right now just knowing that, as special as each individual included (and not included) in this publication is, the stories are similar, I would instead recommend that other people pick an edition of this book that is in their school district (if available).  Because I'm a teacher in St. Paul, the students in this book resemble the population that I teach and that's another thing that meant a lot to me-- I'm able to get more insight into some of the students I serve.  If I change school districts later in my career, I will look for an edition of this book close to where I work.  I does seem like a number of these editions center on different areas of Minnesota, but not all of them.

I give 'Green Card Youth Voices':
Thanks for Reading!


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