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Immigration to a New Home for a Young Latina Girl in New Novel From Award-Winning Author Emma Otheguy

Updated on May 2, 2019
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Charming and Relevant New Novel

Engaging story of a new life for a girl who immigrates to upstate New York from Puerto Rico and finds a new project to start her new life.
Engaging story of a new life for a girl who immigrates to upstate New York from Puerto Rico and finds a new project to start her new life. | Source

A Young Girl From Puerto Rico Finds a New Adventure That Reminds her of Home

Emma Otheguy's new novel Silver Meadows Summer is an engaging story of Carolina, an eleven-year-old who immigrates from Puerto Rico to upstate New York with her parents to start a new life. Many young readers will know at least one immigrant like Carolina and will want to share this book with any new friend who might be a new immigrant in their school or neighborhood. Otheguy writes from her own personal experience from spending summers with cousins in Puerto Rico and her work in upstate New York, a popular destination for immigrants.

Carolina and her parents are exiles from Cuba living in Puerto Rico and now must move to live with relatives in upstate New York. Carolina will miss the farm life that she is accustomed to and must learn to make new friends and must now find new interests in her new home. A new camp experience at Silver Meadows is the beginning of new adventures in her new life.

Carolina makes a new friend at camp who shares her interests in painting and crafts. They take a walk in the woods one day and discover an old cabin near an old farm and a new project is born when they must figure out how to save both the cabin and farm when the future for both is in danger. Carolina prepares a plan to save both the cabin and farm. The farm is important to her because it reminds her of her past life in the Caribbean.

Silver Meadows Summer is an engaging story that is highly relevant to our society now. It is a celebration of the diversity that most young readers will encounter in their towns. Silver Meadows Summer was published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for ages 8-12 and has an ISBN of 978-1-5247-7323-6.

Bring Carolina's Adventures into the Classroom for Lessons in Diversity

Our society is becoming more diverse every year and Emma Otheguy's new novel for young readers is a timely release to use in the classroom in order to learn about new children who might be moving into the community from other countries. Friendship is a part of diversity. Shared interests can be found if one makes the effort to discover these interests. Carolina discovers both friendship and shared interests at summer camp. Together they save a farm and Carolina is able to bring a part of her old life to her new life with the farm.

*Silver Meadows Summer is a chapter book that can engage young readers in a shared reading experience. Students in middle grades like to read chapter books with a few chapters each day. Reading aloud together improves reading skills.

*Have a globe available to locate Cuba and Puerto Rico on the map. What is the body of water that surrounds these places on the globe?

*Locate our state of New York on the map. Upstate New York is a popular new home for immigrants from the Caribbean.

*Take a poll of the number of students who might have immigrated to your town from the Caribbean. How many are students now in your school? What language do these students speak?

*Activities that teach about the farm life in Cuba or Puerto Rico can be planned. What food products come from this area?

*Brainstorm with students to have their ideas about how they can make new children who are immigrants feel comfortable in their new community.

*Call attention to the Spanish words throughout Silver Meadows Summer. Students always like to learn new languages. It is a good idea to have a few books or dictionaries in the classroom to learn some Spanish words in order to communicate with new students who need to learn English when they arrive at school. There are many Spanish language tools that are available for students to practice the language.

© 2019 Cindy Hewitt

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