Carry On: Poetry by Young Immigrants – Various Contributors, Rogé Girard, Owl Kids Books, 9781771474160, 2021
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? Immigration no matter where it is occurring in the world is often a life event that deeply impacts those going through it. This book is a collection of poems written by young immigrants about their experience in leaving their country to come live in Quebec. The central theme that I read throughout the book was the theme of assimilation. Almost all of these poets talk about leaving their “old” selves behind in their home countries and having to adopt the customs and traditions of their new country. The poems talk about learning a new language and leaving behind loved ones. Some of the poems talk about the positive perspective of this experience. For example, one poet talked about feeling heartbreak leaving their country but feeling lucky to be able to have access to a better life in Quebec. I was very young when I left Haiti so I cannot relate to missing my home country, however, I can connect to many of these poems when they talk about finding your “place” in a new foreign world. Each poem is also accompanied by a beautiful charcoal drawing of the poets mentioned throughout the book. The poem on the adjacent page is not necessarily the corresponding poet illustrations. It was amazing to read all the different places the students were coming from and trying to picture their experience in my mind. The poems are pretty short so they are pretty quick reads.
Anything you did not like about the book? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is for the student who is looking to understand the experience of those who have to adapt to new environments. It is perfect for a reader aged 14 and older.
Who should buy this book? Middle schools and high schools
Where would you shelve it? Poetry, 821
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA
Date of review: 7/26/2021