The latest book that I have finished reading (there are always several that are ongoing) is Helen Thorpe’s latest book The Newcomers which my mother gave to me. I started reading it in the gym, between classes and finally finished it the other day! Helen Thorpe is an incredible journalist that wrote the book Just Like Us which I read in high school about four Latina girls and their journey in school. There is a personal connection I have to Thorpe’s first and most recent book as they are set in Denver Public Schools and I attended Denver East High School. I had a vastly different experience in high school and this book opened my eyes to the hidden challenges refugee students are having as they transition to life and school in America.
Given the state of current events in America, this book is so important to read! It is gut-wrenching, inspiring and I finished the book with a lot of conflicting emotions and empathy for all the refugees settling into life in America. I can’t imagine what it is like to resettle into another country after fleeing violence and tragedy. These are problems that I can’t relate to, but can only try to empathize with. I am inspired by the teachers, students and their families. There is a lot of hope in this book from the stories and progress of the students. I have to wonder what their lives are like now? Have some of them gone to college? Been reunited with family members? Have jobs?
I hope we all hold onto our empathy for others and ourselves.
Can’t wait to read more this summer before my big move!