Book Review: In English, Of Course

Here’s a great book about immigration and language learning to add to your kid/s summer reading list! What is a favorite kids' book you’d recommend on similar themes as this one?

In English, Of Course by Josephine Nobisso

3 Things to Love About This Book:
1) Cultivates empathy for classmates who “talk funny”—gives a peek into their experience.
2) Illustrations engage the imagination. 
3) The reviews on the back of the book from famous immigrants are very witty!

In English, Of Course is inspired by the author’s experience of being a child trying to explain her life and experiences accurately through a new language. The story allows any age of reader to connect with the frustration and triumph involved in a task we commonly take for granted.

Suggested Activity After Reading: 
Challenge yourself and your kid/s to speak with someone who has very little language in common with you--either you know less of the language or more of it than they do. (Better still, try both experiences!) Listen carefully to their answers; if it is someone who knows less of the language than you do, try to understand what word they might be seeking and share it with them so they can have it in their vocabulary when they need it again. However, take care to not assume you know what they mean. If you are the someone who knows less of the language than your friend, see if you can learn a new word or two from the person you are speaking with so you can express more of your ideas.

Discussion Starters: 
1) Did something like this ever happen to you, or any of your friends? Tell us about it.
2) Think carefully about the questions you ask people. In the story, the teacher asks Josephine about something he assumes might have been a large part of her world (something she could easily talk about), but in fact it was something she’d hardly experienced. What could the teacher do better next time?