Meet Habiba, Aleksander, Malee, Elisa, and Dinesh. They have left everything they have ever known and arrived in a classroom in a new country. Meet Grace, Jaylyn, Cameron, Miguel, and Yu. They have never lived anywhere else. Hello! is the journey through the challenges that young refugees must navigate to find a sense of belonging in a new place. Flip it over and this two-books-in one also tells this story through the eyes of the students who receive them in the classroom. In this Welcoming Story, all discover the power of embracing differences. Young refugees have traversed the world, escaped violence, and yet still struggle with the sense of identity forged in the way they dress and the foods they eat. The youngsters in this book encourage each other to be their unique and authentic selves. It is powerful for children to imagine themselves on both sides of this shared experience. It will elicit complex and important conversations with students of any age. Share this diverse book with your children and grandchildren, with your students and their teachers, and with your new neighbors. Experience the joy of feeling accepted and remember the power of Hello!
Sophomore Cole Renner knows teamwork inside and out from running cross-country at his multi-ethnic Chicago public school. He knows about
braving the elements and not getting passed in the chute. What Cole doesn’t know is how much he’ll need all of his mental and physical skills when the heavy doors of Cook County Jail slam shut on his father, a community activist; when his English teacher catches Cole tagging the school with the F word and sentences him to write two poems a week, each on a word that starts with F; when his best friend Felipe Ramirez runs for class president against the girl who dumped him; and when the school bully prowls the halls looking for Cole and the principal seems more interested in punishing Cole than the bully. As much as Cole wants to win meets, what he wants even more is justice—for his father, for himself, for Felipe, and for his fellow students. Cole learns that actions matter, but so do words. He takes his write words (in both Spanish and English) and turns them into the right words to fight for justice.