In So Long, Gnop-Jiye, a seven-year-old Chinese girl is forced to leave behind all of her dolls, friends, and her pet duck when her family moves to America. When she goes to her new school, she cannot even understand what her teacher is saying. She feels sad and scared in her new surroundings, until she learns that starting a new life means new opportunities.
This is a sweet story that will help students begin to understand that not all US immigrants arrived before the American Revolution! I also liked the fact that the Chinese family doesn't come to escape poverty - they were well off in China - but instead is fleeing a government that threatens their way of life.
The immigration story is told as a bedtime tale to children, and will hopefully inspire kids who hear it to ask about their own "American Tale". Students will see that no matter where you come from, a new start requires a lot of hard work. Hopefully this will also make children more aware of, and more sympathetic to, newly arrived students in their own schools.
- US Immigration Units
Upper elementary often studies immigration with a focus on Ellis Island. This tale would help round out the unit with immigrant populations that landed on the west coast.
- Units on Family Heritage / especially with a writing focus!
So Long, Gnop-Jiye makes a very accessible model for family memoirs. As Katrina mentions in her author bio, she hopes to inspire students to tell their own stories. She even dedicates a page of her website to young writers.. speaking directly to them http://www.katrinamoorebooks.com/inspired-young-writers.html Get kids to interview their family to find out more, then write and illustrate!
I am a debut children’s author, elementary school teacher, lucky wife, mother to two adorable (and crazy) dogs, and expectant mother to a baby girl (April 2014!).
As a teacher, the many authors that I read to my students have inspired me to write my own story. When selecting books that my students will relate to, I especially find it hard to find stories from authors of ethnic/cultural backgrounds. I wrote this book as a multi-cultural, heartwarming story to encourage love and respect for diversity among my readers, and to inspire children to write their own stories.