First Crossing : Stories About Teen Immigrants
by Gallo, Donald R. (EDT)

Donald R. Gallo
First Crossing1(23)
Pam Muņoz Ryan
Second Culture Kids24(20)
Dian Curtis Regan
My Favorite Chaperone44(36)
Jean Davies Okimoto
They Don't Mean It!80(15)
Lensey Namioka
Pulling Up Stakes95(15)
David Lubar
Lines of Scrimmage110(27)
Elsa Marston
The Swede137(20)
Alden R. Carter
The Rose of Sharon157(23)
Marie G. Lee
Make Maddie Mad180(21)
Rita Williams-Garcia
The Green Armchair201(26)
Minfong Ho
About the Editor227

Stories by Alden Carter, Jean Davies Okimoto, and others provide a look at the diverse lives of young immigrants who struggle to learn to assimilate to the culture and system of their new homeland while dealing with common family issues and personal problems in the process.

Editor Donald R. Gallo is a recipient of the ALAN Award for Outstanding Contributions to Young Adult Literature and the editor of several short story anthologies for teens, including the highly praised DESTINATION UNEXPECTED. The American Library Association includes his anthology SIXTEEN among the 100 Best Books for Young Adults.

Gr. 7-10. The contemporary teen immigrants in Gallo's newest story collection hail from a mix of countries-Cambodia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Korea-reflective of current immigration trends. Among the 10 stories, readers will encounter teens who have left homelands behind for reasons not so different from those of earlier generations; others' circumstances are more distinctly modern, such as the Korean-born girl adopted by white parents and the Swedish teen uprooted from his home by his father's globetrotting career. Overtly tolerance-promoting tales are well balanced with irreverent ones: Lensey Namioka reflects on Chinese etiquette and David Lubar takes a comic look at a Transylvanian immigrant who finds unexpected friends among his school's vampire-obsessed Goths. Newly transplanted teens will find the voices represented in this collection far more relevant than those echoing forth from the huddled masses of Ellis Island, and American-born readers will gain insight from the palpable depictions of what it's like to be thrust into "the middle of a game where [you] don't know the players, the rules, or even the object." ((Reviewed November 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

Gallo sets the stage-explaining the rationale for the book and presenting a short biographical sketch of the author after each story-for this well-meaning, uneven anthology. Some of the earlier stories read more like essays, explaining the characters' problems rather than working as successful fiction. Several of the stories do stand out as slices of life with real characters and a lightness of touch or depth of feeling that make them a pleasure to read. In Lensey Namioka's "They Don't Mean It!," Mary Wang and her friend Kim find out that Chinese customs don't translate easily into American culture. Alden Carter's "The Swede" gives readers a horrifying picture of the tormenting of a Swedish teen from the point of view of his American persecutor, while Rita Garcia-Williams illustrates the tensions between two Haitian girls in the ultimately hilarious "Make Maddie Mad." The anthology's stronger stories provide insights into human behavior and the universal experiences of being "different." Let's hope teens hang on till they get to them. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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