Emily Hearn and Marywinn Milne,
Our New Home: Immigrant Children Speak
Second Story Press, 2007.
Canada has immigrant people from every country in the world scattered throughout its towns and cities. This book is an attempt to tell the story of immigration through the eyes of young children who have recently moved to Canada. In their own words (with no correction of spelling and grammar) these children from North Toronto schools write about or illustrate their experiences and feelings as they try to adapt to life in a new country. The book is divided into five main chapters entitled Leaving; Differences; Adjusting; Problems; and Feelings. Many of the children were excited about arriving in a new country but at the same time found it very sad to leave behind extended family and friends. There were also many adjustments which they found difficult ranging from a great change in the weather to racism and bullying because of their differences.
The idea for this book is certainly a good one and the presentations in the children’s own words will be interesting for the age group at which this books is aimed. However, there is one glaring mistake in this book which causes me to give it a Problematic rating. I was appalled to see on page 91 an entry called "Newfie Jokes" by Stephanie from Newfoundland. Do the esteemed editors and publishers of this book not know that Newfoundland is a province of Canada and has been so for almost 59 years? I find it incredible that this entry is included in this book which, as the introduction states, is a collection of letters from children who are "telling you what happened to them when they left old friends and relatives behind in countries very far from Canada." (P. 1). Unless this glaring mistake is corrected in a new printing of this title, I cannot recommend it as a purchase for any school or library in Canada.
Thematic Links: Canada - Immigration; Multiculturalism
Vol. 13, number 3
E - Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!
G - Good, even great at times, generally useful!
A - Average, all right, has its applications.
P - Problematic, puzzling, poorly presented.