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The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens Hardcover – September 20, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439163286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439163283
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book follows the progress and shares the histiories of immigrant students at the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn in a highly readable formal. I could only admire these teens, new to the USA and to the English language, and their dedicated teachers and school administrators. While their stories are often difficult, the author finds the humor in the struggles and posturing that is common to teens while empathetically sharing the challenges and hardships that they face. Overall, a well written, inspirational book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an amazing story about an amazing school that teaches and tries to integrate immigrant high school age students, from far flung countries like Nepal, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone, into American life. The danger and chaos that these students survived, and how they made their escapes to come to America, often alone, is eye-opening. Their struggles, successes, and failures in their new land makes one very humble. I've never read anything like this before, and it is all true, and happening right now in a very special school for immigrant students in New York City. I enjoyed and learned a lot from this book and recommend it highly.
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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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