Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: One Green Apple

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Ted Lewin

On Farah's second day of school in America, her class goes on a field trip to an apple orchard. She doesn't speak any English and none of the students can speak her language either. She feels left out and lonesome. When the students have to pick out an apple, she goes to the little tree with green apples, instead of the trees with red apples like the other students. One of the boys objects to her putting her green apple in the apple cider with all the red apples, but it turns out great anyway! Farah gets more self-confident, says "apple" and starts to laugh with the other students.
Laughs sound the same as at home. Just the same. So do sneezes and belches and lots of things. It is the words that are strange. But soon I will know their words. I will blend with the others the way my apple blended with the cider. (p. 28)
I thought that was a great quote from the story. Farah realizes that even though the language is different, people are people wherever they are. She compares he acculturation to American culture to the way her apply blended with the other apples in the cider.

One Green Apple won the Arab American National Museum Book Award of 2006. The award honors significant literature by and about Arab Americans.

I think this would be a great book to use in the classroom. Students who are new to a school can relate to it and students who are there already can understand how it must feel for this new student to come into their class without knowing anyone. It's also great that Farah understands that she's going to learn the language and she'll be friends with all of these kids soon enough.

The illustrations, by Ted Lewin, were created with watercolors. I think the illustrations look great and are very detailed and life-like. All of the illustrations are full bleed on two page spreads. I'm really impressed how many details are in these pictures because so many other books with watercolor illustrations seem to lack specific details.

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