by Robert Munsch
readability grade 1 and up, read aloud kindergarten
This is a true story about Saoussan Askar’s life shortly before and after she left her war torn community in Beirut. Saoussan recalls her terrifying feelings as a five year old new to Canada. She knew no English, and her memories of Beirut prevented her from feeling safe. Eventually, though, with the help of her parents, teacher, and classmates, Saoussan becomes a success story. She now knows how to speak English, and she loves her new home in Canada.
- The illustrations and the story of this book reveals a few ways that Saoussan relies on to communicate to her teacher and her classmates. Ask students to work in pairs. One is allowed to speak English and the other cannot speak at all (then switch roles). After the activity, discuss all the different methods the non-speakers used to communicate.
- This book was written by Saoussan and Robert Munsch after Saoussan wrote a series of letters about her experience to Munsch. Ask students to think about their life in Canada/U.S. and write a letter to someone who knows nothing about Canada/U.S.. How does the country look like? How are the people like? What do they like about their country?