This reading group guide for The New Kids includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Brooke Hauser. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. Introduction
In The New Kids,
journalist Brooke Hauser takes readers inside the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, New York, and into the lives of its students—all recent immigrants who are learning English. Among the memorable students she follows: Ngawang, who escaped Tibet by hiding inside of a small suitcase for twenty-four hours; Mohamed, a diamond miner’s son from Sierra Leone who dreams of becoming a doctor; and Yasmeen, a Muslim girl from Yemen who has her feet in two worlds. Despite their different backgrounds, all of the students are adjusting to life in a new land and forging their own paths to the American Dream. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The New Kids
is divided into three parts: Passages, Between Worlds, and Almost American. How do those titles reflect the narrative arc of the book and the students’ stories? What does it mean to be almost American? What does “being American” mean to you?
2. Many students at