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First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants Hardcover – September 9, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0763622497 ISBN-10: 0763622494 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (September 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763622494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763622497
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–Covering a wide range of cultural and economical backgrounds, these stories by 11 well-known authors touch on a variety of teen experiences, with enough attitude and heartfelt angst to speak to young adults anywhere. In Pam Muñoz Ryan's "First Crossing," a boy experiences the risks of being smuggled across the Mexican border. Marie G. Lee's "The Rose of Sharon" describes a spoiled girl's animosity toward her adoptive parents and her desire to return to Korea to find her birth family. In Jean Davies Okimoto's "My Favorite Chaperone," an immigrant from Kazakhstan describes her relationship with her conservative parents, who rely on her to translate for them but still limit her freedom. Many of the stories open with a brief description of the country the family is leaving, or the lifestyle they flee; details that set a foundation for the teens' achievements and relationships. There's the chronic irony of children shrugging off anchors from their homeland while laden with guilt to respect the traditions that their parents cling to; they're caught in a conflict of change, assuming responsibility while remaining obediently subordinate. These selections will provide teachers with a wealth of material to use in multicultural literature units.–Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. The contemporary teen immigrants in Gallo's newest story collection hail from a mix of countries--Cambodia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Korea--reflective of current immigration trends. Among the 10 stories, readers will encounter teens who have left homelands behind for reasons not so different from those of earlier generations; others' circumstances are more distinctly modern, such as the Korean-born girl adopted by white parents and the Swedish teen uprooted from his home by his father's globetrotting career. Overtly tolerance-promoting tales are well balanced with irreverent ones: Lensey Namioka reflects on Chinese etiquette and David Lubar takes a comic look at a Transylvanian immigrant who finds unexpected friends among his school's vampire-obsessed Goths. Newly transplanted teens will find the voices represented in this collection far more relevant than those echoing forth from the huddled masses of Ellis Island, and American-born readers will gain insight from the palpable depictions of what it's like to be thrust into "the middle of a game where [you] don't know the players, the rules, or even the object." Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By American Immigration Council's Community Education Center on October 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
First Crossing, a collection of ten first-person narratives, tells the stories of teen-age immigrants to the United States. While the stories in this collection cover diverse immigration experiences, each story deals with the challenges that are unique to adolescents arriving in a new country. The stories, though fiction, deal with the difficult realities many immigrant teenagers face, realities such as self-doubt, social and linguistic isolation, racism, and family conflict. The reading level and subject matter of this book make it suitable for middle school and high school students. The collection lends itself well to opportunities for discussion and writing extensions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Majewski on August 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For a summer reading assignment in my high school, I had chosen to read First Crossings: Stories of Teen Immigrants by David Gallo. Although initially, I had expected true stories of immigrants in a longer format, the stories in First Crossings are fictional and short.

I enjoy reading multicultural fiction, and I throughly enjoyed reading some stories in the book, although after reading three to four stories, the stories began to become transparent and rather canned.

I guess this is to be expected with a collection of stories all about the same subject, but I expected more from such prolific writers of the topic such as Lesley Namioka (whose books I have read before).

Also missing from First Crossings is something that I think would be very relevant to current events in the United States, a story about illegal Mexican or Central American immigrants living in America, rather then just the immigration process.. Reading through the book, I found that it covered all manners and variety of immigration to America, with the glaring omission of this topic.

To be more complete, I would recommend such a story be included. Otherwise, I have enjoyed reading from this book.

A wide variety of topics related to immigration are presented in a sometimes humorous format, including the immigrant handling of cultural differences and misunderstandings, the customs and cuisine of a new country, and, especially valuable, the search for an identity as an immigrant in a new country, coming from a country with a distinct culture to another country with another distinct culture.

The characters in the "identity-related"stories often struggle to find a balance between their birth and adopted cultures, and satisfyingly, appear to make adjustments and blend the two in unique ways.

Although not what I expected, I enjoyed reading First Crossings.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on January 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants gives a glimpse of our world through the eyes of strangers. The short stories are of teens from all parts of the globe who have immigrated to the United States and find themselves in a myriad of different circumstances. Although the characters are so different, they all share the common challenge of dealing with change and accepting differences. The reader will appreciate the insight given and hopefully come away with a new sense of understanding and a resolve to be more tolerant. Bonnie, Meridian, ID.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A MUST for middle schoolers. I used this book during summer school. These were school kids. They struggled with reading. They were disinterested in school. And.....this book rocked their world. We read two sections each day. The kids then had a "Book Club" and discussed the stories. They loved it. The stories captured their attention and imagination. Teachers BUY this book for your world cultures/social studies classes they will love it.
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