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From award-winning, meticulously observant writer Helen Thorpe comes a powerful and moving account of how refugee teenagers at a Denver public high school learn English and become Americans, in the care of a compassionate teacher.
“The Newcomers” follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado, in an English Language Acquisition class created specifically for them. Unfamiliar with American culture, their stories are poignant and remarkable as they face the enormous challenge of adapting. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. Many come directly from refugee camps, after experiencing dire forms of cataclysm. Some arrive alone, having left or lost every other member of their original family.
With the U.S. at a political crossroads around questions of immigration, multiculturalism, and America’s role on the global stage, Helen Thorpe presents a fresh and nuanced perspective. “The Newcomers” is a trans formative take on these timely, important issues.