Tuesday, August 4, 2015


My latest book, I'm New Here, launches into the world today! Though it's brand new, some exciting things are happening with it already:
  • In June,  children's book advocate extraordinaire, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City and I presented a workshop, "New Immigrants, New Approaches: Serving Your Community's Deep Diversity with Programming and Acquisition," at the American Library Association conference in San Francisco - and just received the report that we got stellar evaluations! We introduced I'm New Here as we talked about the stages of adjustment for immigrant children and our project about children's literature featuring new arrivals, I'm Your Neighbor Books.
Our entire presentation is available as a pdf here.
  •  In late July, marvelous videographer Fred Ben (above, with me), Kirsten Cappy (below, R), and I met with 25 fabulous children - including Fatho (below, center) - and their wonderfully supportive teachers (thanks for making it happen, Tina Massa Mikkelson!) at Hall School in Portland, Maine.

I shared the book and we talked about being new, being different, and being welcoming. Each child drew pictures and made posters of their thoughts and feelings. The next day, we got to interview the child individually as they talked about their work. So delightful; I fell in love with every single face.

The footage from two days of filming will be shaped into a short book trailer and a longer teaching tool, to spark discussions about immigration and welcoming at schools across the country and around the world, available for the September launch.
  • On Saturday, September 19, I'm New Here will be launched at an all-ages event at Portland Public Library, Portland, Maine, 2:00-4:00 p.m., during National Welcoming Week.
Immigrant Children in Picture Books
A review of recent, recommended titles featuring refugee and immigrant children, focusing on the countries of origin of those currently settling in Maine. We'll explore how these books can be used to support students - and their mainstream classmates - as they move through stages of adjustment.
  • On November 7, I'll be presenting I'm New Here and many other titles in a workshop for K-12 teachers entitled, "'That’s My Story!' Young Refugees and Immigrants in Children's Books," at the Northern New England TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference at UNH in Durham, NH.

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