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January 18, 2009

Coming to America

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Coming to America

Author: Bernard Wolf

Page Length: 45    

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Biography   

PLOT SUMMARY: Hassan Mahmond comes to America and works for eight years before he is able to have his family join him from Egypt.  After they arrive, the children (Amr, Dina, and Rowan) begin attending American schools.  As they learn the new cultures of America, they continue to practice their Islamic customs and beliefs in their home.  They attend the mosque and eat the traditional foods of their homelands. However, the family adapts to America and its land of opportunities by working hard, learning the English language, and adapting to the traditional celebrations of graduation and birthdays.

REVIEW: This is a short, easy to read book with lots of facts about a Muslim family and the challenges they face as they immigrate to America. The author gives a good background to the American reader about the culture and customs of the Islamic religion while describing the hardships the family must endure to live in a free America.  The photographs are colorful and capture the life of the Mahmond family.  Students who like to read non-fiction would enjoy this book.  It could be used as a supplement for a social studies lesson or learning about customs in different countries.

AREAS OF TEACHING: Increase Vocabulary Skills (baklava, halal, mosque, ka’bah, Qur’an), Compare/Contrast, Setting, Sequence of Events

RELATED BOOKS: The Kite Runner, Escape from Saigon, I Learned Geography, The Wall, New Kids in Town, Goodbye, Vietnam, Refuge Cove

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: The Kite Runner (2007)


REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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