Welcome to the New World
Written by Jake Halpern
Illustrated by Michael Sloan
Published by Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Now in a full-length book, the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic story of a refugee family who fled the civil war in Syria to make a new life in America
After escaping a Syrian prison, Ibrahim Aldabaan and his family fled the country to seek protection in America. Among the few refugees to receive visas, they finally landed in JFK airport on November 8, 2016, Election Day. The family had reached a safe harbor, but woke up to the world of Donald Trump and a Muslim ban that would sever them from the grandmother, brothers, sisters, and cousins stranded in exile in Jordan.
Welcome to the New World tells the Aldabaans’ story. Resettled in Connecticut with little English, few friends, and even less money, the family of seven strive to create something like home. As a blur of language classes, job-training programs, and the fearsome first days of high school (with hijab) give way to normalcy, the Aldabaans are lulled into a sense of security. A white van cruising slowly past the house prompts some unease, which erupts into full terror when the family receives a death threat and is forced to flee and start all over yet again. The America in which the Aldabaans must make their way is by turns kind and ignorant, generous and cruel, uplifting and heartbreaking.
Delivered with warmth and intimacy, Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan’s Welcome to the New World is a wholly original view of the immigrant experience, revealing not only the trials and successes of one family but showing the spirit of a town and a country, for good and bad.
Primary ISBN: 9781250305596
Available As: Paperback
Graphic Novel, Age 15 or older
Community Represented: Syrian/Syrian American
Themes: Discrimination: Religious, Education & Literacy, Family Separation: Different Immigration Status, Refugee Journey, Refugee: Asylee, Refugee: War/Conflict, Religious Background: Muslim
Setting: Syria, United States (Connecticut)
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Refugee
Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Written with Cultural Advisors
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