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Two, Four, Six, Eight! Hit “Enter” Now to Participate

by Gina Sipley, Nassau Community College & Hofstra University; & Melinda Smith, Munsey Park Elementary School, Manhasset, NY, & Hofstra University

GlobeEmailThe internet provides teenagers with a platform wherein they have innumerable opportunities to voice their beliefs and locate like minded souls. The advent of new media is linked to an increase in social activism and this is seen most closely in the novels of Cory Doctorow. Doctorow’s Little Brother (2008), For The Win (2010) and In Real Life (2014), his graphic novel with Jen Wang, offer visions of not just socially networked teens, but socially conscious ones who use technology as a tool for combatting oppression. Continue reading

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What YA Novels Can Teach Us About Coming of Age Online: The Digital Tongue

Introduction
by Jeanne Henry, Hofstra University & Gina Sipley, Nassau Community College & Hofstra University

TextingThe best YA authors have a nose for what’s next, and so it was no surprise to me in 2005 when I came across Lauren Myracle’s TTYL— a book told entirely in the teen discourse of the day, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). In the decade since TTYL made its appearance, other YA authors have begun to depict the lives of teens who move through the digital world and for whom coming of age often happens online. Continue reading

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Immigration: Informative Texts that Satisfy

by Holly Johnson, The University of Cincinnati

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When we came to America, though, we didn’t know what the right thing was. Here we lived with no map. We became invisible, the people who swam in between other people’s lives, bussing dishes, delivering groceries. What was wrong?

We didn’t know. The most important thing, Abba said, was not to stick out. Don’t let them see you. But I think it hurt him, to hide so much.

― Marina Budhos, Ask Me No Questions (2007)

What is the immigrant experience like? Are all immigrant stories similar? What motivates a person to immigrate to another country? Continue reading

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Immigration: Narratives to Expand Our Cultural Homes

by Holly Johnson, The University of Cincinnati

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My new home is in a new country.
I know very little of the language and culture.
Memories of my old country will be in my heart forever
The love of my old country will always remain.
I leave for a better life and new opportunities
Hoping to make a bright future for me and my family.

–Arty Rico Jones

Moving from one country to another, and knowing it will become “home” can evoke any number of emotions. Continue reading

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Immigration: In Pictures for Any Age Group

by Holly Johnson, The University of Cincinnati

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”Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.”

–Jean Rhys

Books do make us immigrants! They take us to place in which we are unfamiliar, where we might be lost, but with a chance of being found and welcomed. This week, I wanted to share some picture books in which readers—regardless of age—can get lost, but from the journey we find a new understanding of the world, others, and ourselves. Continue reading

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Immigration: Stories about All of Us

by Holly Johnson, The University of Cincinnati

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“The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources–because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.”

Lyndon B. Johnson

My grandparents were immigrants. Like many Americans, I can trace my roots to other parts of the world. When I talked with my Norwegian grandmother about her experience of immigrating to the United States, it was one of adventure. Asked by her older brother to make the trans-Atlantic trip in 1920, she responded immediately, and gave her Oslo employer two weeks’ notice. She was 20 years old. Continue reading

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Like Oil and Water: Unlikely Friendships

by Gail Pritchard, PhD, The University of Arizona

Friendship

 

“Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend” (Bill Watterson).

If you Google “unlikely friendships,” you will find books, YouTube videos, and images of unusual animal friendships. These tend to be animals from different species and even those that would be considered natural enemies, like a bonded cat and bird. But what do we mean when we refer to people with unlikely friendships? Continue reading

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