“I’m New Here grew in my mind over many years of considering recently-arrived, culturally diverse students, as I interacted with them while creating books, speaking in schools, and evaluating available resources.
Though there are many wonderful books featuring individual child immigrants, it seemed to me that in the big picture something was missing. Somehow the emphasis was on what immigrant children needed to acquire, as if they arrived as blank slates, needing to be filled.
I wanted to focus on the strengths these children already had, leading rich and complex lives in their home countries, where they know how to fully communicate and participate. Immigration, however it happens, means losses, and it means starting over, having to learn everything all over again.