On Being the New Kid
It isn’t easy to be the new kid. I know that from personal experience. I attended six different schools in five states before 7th grade, so there was a part of me that saw packing up to move across a few states as a completely normal and expected part of life. But there was another part of me that was always at least a little bit nervous on the first day at a new school as I wondered how I would fit in, make friends, or just find my way around.
Even now, I often find myself drawn to books that share the “new kid” experience that was so familiar to me as a child, and I believe that these stories have something to offer everyone, whether they have ever moved their household or not. These stories may spark discussion about the immigrant experience, about what it means to feel at home, and about making connections. All of which are valuable discussions to have as we strive to build empathy in our students and create a welcoming environment in our schools and libraries.
Each of the books in the Spark Page linked below features a character who has recently moved with a focus on the transition to a new school from either the new student’s perspective or from another character reacting to their presence. Some of the kids have moved to a new town or state for a parent’s new job (like I did as a child) while others have moved for other reasons. Many of the young people in these stories are dealing with more than just the transition of moving and starting a new school. Some of the stories are light and fun while others address serious issues. The books are as varied as experiences of the students in your schools.
Blogger: Mindy R.