Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy, photographs by Wing Young Huie

Published by Carolrhoda Books

 

Summary:  Each page has 3-6 photographs of 21st-century immigrants. The brief text explains how people have come to the United States from many countries.  They may not speak English, they may make embarrassing mistakes, but they work hard and often do the jobs that no one else wants.  They push their children to also work hard and to never give up, with the hope that those children will have opportunities they never knew.  The final page asks, “What will we do with their great gift?”  Back matter includes photos of the author’s and illustrator’s ancestors and their stories of how those families came to America, as well as a description of how they came to work together on this book.  32 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  Although the text is brief, almost like a poem, the photographs are captivating and will make readers want to spend a lot of time with this book, imagining what life is like for the subjects of those photos.  This would be a perfect introduction to a unit on immigration, demonstrating that seeking a new life in the United States has been, and continues to be, an ongoing theme in American history.

Cons:  I wanted to know more about every single photograph.

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