Farah feels alone, even when surrounded by her classmates. She listens and nods but doesn’t speak. It’s hard being the new kid in school, especially when you’re from another country and don’t know the language. Then, on a field trip to an apple orchard, Farah discovers there are lots of things that sound the same as they did at home, from dogs crunching their food to the ripple of friendly laughter. As she helps the class make apple cider, Farah connects with the other students and begins to feel that she belongs.
Ted Lewin’s gorgeous sun-drenched paintings and Eve Bunting’s sensitive text immediately put the reader into another child’s shoes in this timely story of a young Muslim immigrant.
Farah begins her story on her second day in her new school in her new country. Many things are strange to her, including the clothes and the language. Her class is going on a field trip to an apple orchard, where they each pick an apple to be made into cider. Symbolically, Farah drops her small green one into the machine, to be incorporated with all the other red ones. She begins to make friends. She has also learned a new word, "App-ell." She has hope that "There will be more." Her simple story helps us understand the feelings of one of the many immigrant children striving to make their way in our American world. Lewin's naturalistic watercolors take advantage of the large double pages to depict the apple picking adventure, including the efforts of some children toward friendship. His visual narrative is successful in pulling us along, while presenting genuine personalities, particularly Farah herself. In her final full page portrait, her smile seems to predict a positive future. 2006, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.