Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land

John Coy, photos by Wing Young Huie. Lerner/Carolrhoda, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4677-8054-4
Coy (Hoop Genius) and photographer Huie (Looking for Asian America), in his first book for children, deliver a visual smorgasbord that informs young readers—and reminds older ones—how the United States was and continues to be made. Color and b&w photographs of modern-day immigrants appear alongside a spare, poetic text describing their collective experience in a new country. “They made mistakes and people laughed. Others didn’t understand how much they’d sacrificed. They worked long, hard hours, at difficult jobs....They saved and did without/ and sent money back.” The newcomers (mostly Asian, African, and Hispanic) cover a broad range of ages and appear in everyday scenes: children at a school lunch table or Scout meeting; adults learning a new language or working at night. Some stare with expressive eyes, while others mingle and laugh with family and friends. The message is clear: they are us, as they always have been. The final line, “What will we do with their great gift?” poses a seminal question for citizens already here. Both author and illustrator detail their own ancestors’ arrival stories in endnotes. Ages 5–9. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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