This real-life story was first published in 1995. With all the turmoil and immigration movement in our world at the present time the story seems even more relevant today.
Seven-year old Saoussan and her family immigrate to Canada from Lebanon because of the war and danger they are experiencing in their native land. She attends a school in Toronto and has a very difficult time adjusting because of her language barrier and her unfamiliarity with Canadian customs and people. Frightened and feeling misplaced she takes it upon herself to fit in (and she does) by learning the language and becoming quite proficient in reading and writing. I love the diversity of the students in her class with one little one in a wheelchair. The kids all work hard to accept her and make her feel safe and part of their class. Her sensitive, caring teacher carefully takes her new student under her wing and helps ease her into her new lifestyle and new Canadian homeland.
This heartfelt story is illustrated beautifully depicting emotions and feelings of Saoussan, her family and those around her at her school. The authors include a message from the real Saoussan, now all grown up, to conclude and give closure to her story. I highly recommend this book and suggest that every classroom and school library have a copy to share and discuss.