Come On In by Adi Alsaid (Editor) – Book Review

Title: Come On In: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home

Author: Adi Alsaid (Editor)

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Release Date: October 13, 2020

RATING: 4 Stars

Come On In is a powerful collection of immigration stories, emigration stories, and stories about finding home. Talented middle grade and young adult authors contribute narratives, both real and inspired by truth, and each shines a light on the effects of such a life-altering experience. The authors often encountered resistance and downright derision, but they graciously welcome readers into their lives in sharing these stories. They humanize episodes and events that too often can seem abstract or distant. In unfurling them one after the other, Come On In surprises with its vast storytelling compilation. While each story is unique, there are shared truths that thread these experiences together and create a mosaic that sharply brings into relief the universality of the immigrant experience.

Come On In would be a fantastic addition to any unit of study on immigration, the immigrant experience, or the refugee experience. The 15 narratives offer myriad options for educators to pair the stories with another text. In doing so, students would have a unique opportunity for multiple cross-text analyses, creating a rich foundation for discussion and synthesis. Layered with a study on the history of immigration, students would expand their perspective and knowledge of the forces, both past and present, that continue to motivate people around the globe to emigrate and the treatment that greets them upon arrival. Come On In provides the threads for a teacher to weave together a rich educational experience.

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and publisher, Inkyard Press, for an eARC of this book!

Classroom Applications

  • Cross-curricular Study – Teach the novel in conjunction with a nonfiction study of U.S. immigration system, history of immigration to the U.S., and immigration and identity.
  • Literature Circles – Use novel for small groups or choice reading with a variety of novels that address immigration.
  • Book Club or Book Exchange – Share the novel with students that enjoy reading about themes of immigration, home, family, or identity.

Nonfiction Connections: The list below outlines topics that will enrich your students’ understanding of the novel.

  • U.S. History: Immigration
  • U.S. Immigration System
  • U.S. Immigration Laws
  • Immigration & Emigration Push and Pull Factors

Book Companions: The following are great books to pair with Come On In. In parenthesis are the specific aspects students could explore when synthesizing across the texts.

  • Count Me In by Varsha Baja (Nonfiction Connections, Character Connections, Themes)
  • Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri (Nonfiction Connections, Character Connections, Themes)
  • Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros (Nonfiction Connections, Character Connections, Themes)
  • Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park (Nonfiction Connections, Character Connections, Themes)
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Nonfiction Connections, Character Connections, Themes)
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz (Nonfiction Connections, Character Connections, Themes)

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