Written by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Published by Charlesbridge Publishing
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 of their home country, language, and identity. Young readers from all backgrounds will appreciate this touching story about the assimilation of three immigrant students in a supportive school community. Anne Sibley O’Brien is one of the founders of I’m Your Neighbor, an organization that promotes children’s literature featuring “new arrival” cultures. As the rate of immigration to the United States increases, topics related to immigration are increasingly more important in the classroom and home. I’m New Here demonstrates how our global community can work together and build a home for all.
Explore the companion picture book Someone New.
Primary ISBN: 9781580896122
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook
Picture Book, Age 06 or older
Themes: Allyship, Bilingual Character, Cross-Group Friendship, Engagement Tool: Arts, Engagement Tool: Discussion, Engagement Tool: I'm Your Neighbor Books Created, Engagement Tool: Video, Recommended: Infinite Country Read Alike, Welcoming by Individual, Welcoming Library Selection
Setting: United States
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Immigrant
Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Written with Cultural Advisors
Engagement Projects & Resources:
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Explore the Reader Experience
Reader Engagement Guide
DOWNLOAD this classroom, library, or home learning guide on immigration, welcoming, and belonging.
The two books have interwoven narratives. To explore the interplay of belonging and welcoming in the two stories, consider looking at the books side by side. We have created a Readers Theater Script to choreograph this interplay.
Whether you use the verbatim script or not, the progressive conversation gives you ideas to examine the commonality of being NEW, explore what it feels like to feel “DIFFERENT”, understand that being NEW and DIFFERENT can make someone feel like they do not BELONG, and discover that we all have a role in WELCOMING immigrants and refugees into our schools and communities.
A shared space of welcoming and belonging happens when steps are taken by the new arrival and the “already here” members of the community. This open-ended movement game allows readers to role play challenges and actions that move communities closer together.
I’m Your Neighbor Signs
The phrase, “I’m your neighbor” is one you could say to anyone in your neighborhood. Whether you are new or have been in the neighborhood a long time, the phrase will make a connection. We offer a cut-out speech bubble and the phrase in 10 languages to copy into that bubble.
More Ways to Welcome
We include a list of fundraising and simple tasks to help immigrants and refugees —including expanding your collection of books.
This book is part of the Welcoming Library. The Welcoming Library is a traveling collection of picture books set in our New Arrival and New American communities. From small towns to big cities, these immigration stories are helping readers (of all ages) Welcome and Belong. Explore More.