C is for change and colorful reminders of home.
Author: Mary Hoffman
Illustrator: Karin Littlewood
Publisher: Frances Lincoln, March 1, 2003
Theme/Topic: Relocation, Somalia, Adjusting to new country and culture, healing through art,
The Color of Home follows first-grader Hassan through his first few days at school. Hassan has only recently arrived in the United States after he and his family were forced to flee Somalia, and he deeply misses the colorful landscape of his former home in Africa. But with the help of his parents, an understanding teacher, and a school art project, Hassan finds that by painting a picture of his old home and sharing his story, his homesickness and the trauma of leaving a war-torn country are lessened. And he finds that there are many things to like about his new home in America.
This book can be used with students from pre-K, where there might be students that have experienced the same or maybe they are English learners. The Color of Home allows readers to understand how hard it might be for some people to relocate. You can also talk about different reasons of why people have to or choose to move from their home-country. You can also discuss what difficulties not knowing the language most people talk can produce, and how ESL students might feel while learning a new language.
Why I like this book:
Many people do not know what it is like to leave the only home they have ever known to be in a new place with a new language, a new culture and new environment. It is also hard to know and understand what it is like to live in a war-torn country, the experiences and trauma that a person, especially a child experiences. Even more so, children do not know how to relate to or help new classmates and friends from poverty-stricken and war-torn countries. The Color of Home does a beautiful job of bringing to light the heart of Hassan's struggle as he learns to accept and embrace his new home.