Something About America

9780763634155_p0_v1_s260x420Something About America
By Maria Testa (Maine author)

After ten years of living in America, a young girl is happy with the new world in which she lives and doesn’t understand why her parents yearn to return to their war-torn land of Kosova, yet when a sudden damaging act reestablishes old fears of hate, the Americanized student is forced to reexamine everything she thought she knew.

Find a copy at Portland Public Library | Local Bookstore | Amazon | B&N

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Info: ISBN 9780763634155, Paperback, $6.99
Setting: Portland, ME, Lewiston, ME
Featured Community: Kosovar American
Ages: 10-Adult
Theme: Neighbors

Discuss and Engage with the Something About America Reader’s Guide
Download PDF here

Reviews & Accolades
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
A Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Poetry Pick

This book offers a brief glimpse into the lives of refugees from the Kosovar War…Libraries with a need for stories about war refugees may want to consider this title as an additional purchase.”  —Sonja Cole, School Library Journal

“…Her parents are more at odds with life in the U.S., and the girl speaks powerfully about the heartbreaking choices her parents have faced…Testa’s distilled poetry never seems forced, and her stirring words enhance a sense of the characters’ experiences and emotions, particularly those of a young person caught between cultures: “I have two languages / in my head / and no accent / on my lips.” Based on an actual incident, this is an excellent choice for readers’ theater and classroom discussion.”  —Gillian Engberg, Booklist

“…The author uses spare, simple verse to illuminate this poignant story, which is based on an actual incident that took place in Lewiston, Maine. The writing is similar to a haiku in its ability to suggest a world of emotion in only a few carefully chosen words. Teens who enjoy books of prose poems…will have much to ponder with the issues raised by this story.” —VOYA

“Testa writes stories told in poems of surpassing beauty, fragility and depth…Riveting and tender.” —Kirkus Reviews

Simplicity of language is a powerful counterpoint to the emotional complexity of the immigrants’ story, and classrooms of mixed reading abilities and/or second-language learners may find this an ideal vehicle.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Suggested Supplemental Reading

From I Remember Warm Rain:
“Lost and Found” by Nasra Hassan

From New Mainers:
Zeynep Turk, Turkey
Emrush Zeqiri, Kosovo
Ismail Ahmed, Somalia

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