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The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens Paperback – May 1, 2012

21 customer reviews

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The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens + Biography-Driven Culturally Responsive Teaching + Differentiating Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners: A Guide for K - 12 Teachers
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A People Magazine "Great Read"

"The stories of these kids are simply astonishing." -- Talk of the Nation, NPR

"A refreshing reminder of the hurdles newcomers to this country still face and how many defy the odds to overcome them." --The New York Times

"Brooke Hauser, who spent a year following members of the senior class, delivers a rich, extraordinarily moving account of the challenges they met--and the many ways in which kids are the same the world over." --Parade Magazine

About the Author

Brooke Hauser has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Allure, among other publications. She lives in western Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439163308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439163306
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brooke Hauser has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Allure, and Premiere, among other publications. Originally from Miami, Florida, she now divides her time between New York City and western Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband Addison MacDonald. Please visit her website: www.brookehauser.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ransom D. Riggs on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rich with cinematic detail, The New Kids is a moving, sharply-observed portrait of the modern immigrant experience, told through the lens of something we can all relate to: high school. The struggles and triumphs of Hauser's young subjects are as dramatic and inspiring as anything you'll find on the fiction shelves.

Die-hard fans of young adult lit will be especially delighted; Hauser's fast-paced, gripping prose makes the New Kids just as much fun to read about as the primped and pimpled denizens of any made-up high school -- with the added bonus that what happens to them is all true. This book could be a gateway drug to the secretly magical world of nonfiction.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TVH Miami on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Brooke Hauser was the perfect person to write this book. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from a public school system that teaches students who come from all over the Western Hemisphere.

In her career as a journalist, the author has interviewed and written about a vast array people -both the famous and the unknown, including: movie actors, farmers, pop divas, clergymen, world leaders, juvenile offenders, sitcom stars, high school beauty queens, talk show hosts and prison guards.

With all of these subjects, a few constants have guided the author's work. Be objective. Be probing, but respectful. Be thorough. Be honest. Write in a style that is smart and accessible.

All of these constants are at work in The New Kids. The author spent a full year at the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and developed a rapport with the students, faculty and administration. The real stories of these kids were not easy to elicit. Contradictions needed to be reconciled and gaps had to be filled in. The 25 to 30 languages spoken there added to the difficulty and, sometimes, to the confusion. The author observed the students featured in the book -both in and out of school. She interviewed each of them repeatedly. She met with their friends and families. She consulted with social workers and immigration attorneys. She checked with the teachers and the staff. She persisted in getting each story right.

Having said all of that, the book is fun to read. It is an extraordinary story about the most common of institutions: high school. It is a kaleidoscope that illuminates the clashing and blending of personalities and cultures.

Read this book and you will gain insights, while being entertained and moved. Read this book and you will come away with a sense that America still has good times ahead.

What other book on your reading list will make you feel that way?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Abichaqua on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Just a few pages into this book, I was completely hooked. The stories are fascinating and prove once again, à la Anne Fadiman or Tracy Kidder, that nonfiction can be just as riveting as fiction. The reader is constantly going back and forth between reliving moments of his/her own high school experiences -- flirting, trying desperately to fit in, walking through noisy hallways and using bathrooms covered in graffiti -- and being amazed at what these kids have lived through. Hauser doesn't just scrape the surfaces of the life of a former teenage diamond miner or a girl who rents a room on her own at age 17 because her dad and stepmom kicked her out; she enters into their lives and helps us to imagine what it would be like to be them. While it's clear that she formed strong relationships with the subjects of the book, she artfully accomplishes the feat of making herself invisible so that the reader feels that she or he is getting a documentary-like view of the lives of these courageous kids. Looking forward to seeing what comes next from this talented writer!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WriterType on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Wow. This book made me realize how easy I've had it in my life. Not that it's depressing--it's inspiring, actually. The kids profiled are engaging and incredibly resourceful, and the school itself is fascinating. I was curious to find out HOW exactly one teaches a history class when the kids in that class speak 20-something different languages. But the kids' stories are really the amazing stuff: 24 hours in a suitcase, a daring escape from the suburbs of Connecticut, the culture clashes, the ways they got to this country, and the places they end up living in NYC when they have no where to go and no one taking care of them. This is a smart and fun book, and it also makes you feel a little better about the world in general.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Soliday on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Hauser's book, The New Kids, is a great read and a stimulating book for discussions. She explores the ambiguities and complexities of people (teens, teachers, and parents) and issues (immigration, education, culture, forgiveness) with intelligence and depth while keeping the reader focused on what really matters-the kids. Her writing is superb, witty,charming, and quirky, the kind of writing we wish we could all be clever enough to create or at least to remember to quote. I learned so much from this book about the struggles of young immigrants, about what good teaching is, about the nuances of cultural differences, and about high school humor and kindness. Hauser is a gem of a journalist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rachel A on October 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book had me hooked from the first chapter. The kids at the International High School are as fascinating as any fictional characters and their stories are inspirational, from the boy from Sierra Leone who achieves a dramatic escape from a group of missionaries in Connecticut, to the Yemeni girl who loses both her parents, takes on responsibility for her young siblings, gets married to a man she's never met, and still manages to graduate high school and get accepted to college.

Brooke Hauser is a talented writer who guides us through the lives of these kids, weaving their stories together to paint a picture of a remarkable place where teenagers from all over the world pursue their dreams against all odds. As other reviewers have noted, this book is just as engaging as fiction, and the "characters" stay with you long after you finish the book.
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