Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education

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$30.95  $28.78
Beacon Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.1 X 1.6 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author
Jessica Lander is an award-winning teacher, writer and author. She teaches history and civics to recent immigrant students in a Massachusetts public high school and has won numerous awards for her teaching, including being named a Top 50 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, presented by the Varkey Foundation. Jessica writes frequently about education policy and teaching. She is a coauthor of Powerful Partnerships: A Teacher's Guide to Engaging Families for Student Success and author of Driving Backwards.
"In this empathetic call for change, high school teacher Lander (Driving Backwards) offers concrete plans for reforming immigrant education in the US . . . Throughout, Lander buttresses her case with stirring profiles of her former students. The result is an inspirational must-read for educators, policymakers, and parents."
--Publishers Weekly

"Lander is an excellent storyteller, and this book is an involving read. VERDICT: A thoughtful, engaging book for any reader interested in immigrant education."
--A. Gray, Library Journal

"[Lander] offers a nice mixture of conversational tone and intriguing research, uncovering important, untold stories in educational history."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Weaving together inspiring personal stories, powerful case studies, and a fascinating history of immigrant education in America, Jessica Lander shines a new, hopeful light on a perennial question: How does a young immigrant become an American?"
--Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed

"At times moving, instructive, sobering, and encouraging, Making Americans will captivate and enlighten all readers. And it will also equip teachers, voters, and policy makers to work together to overcome prejudice and help newcomers build on their talents to strengthen America while pursuing their own dreams."
--Martha Minow, former dean of Harvard Law School and author of When Should Law Forgive?

"An eye-opening, crucial, and riveting account of how schools and educators have shaped the immigrant experience in the United States. It is an essential history of our nation, interwoven with narratives of students and teachers who are today reimagining what it means to become American. . . . A moving book for anyone who cares about the fate of our country, but especially for those of us who are descendants of people who traveled here from afar."
--Bina Venkataraman, author of The Optimist's Telescope

"Making Americans is a beautifully written account. . . . With masterful interweaving of legal history, classroom case examples, and powerful student stories, what emerges is a compelling and timely work that informs as much as it inspires."
--Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun

"Our nation's magic is its ability to turn immigrants into Americans. Jessica Lander has written a brilliant and poignant book about how schools can help do this. This is an important book, and also a beautiful one. Everyone who cares about the future of America should read it."
--Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

"Providing well-researched historical perspective along with hopeful current models of promising practice, Making Americans will no doubt become a mainstay for all who care to best serve our newest Americans!"
--Carola Suárez-Orozco, director, Immigration Initiative at Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Making Americans provides just the sort of context too often missing from discussions of immigrant education. But what with its many terrific stories about students and teachers, it is more than informative: fascinating and inspiring, it is also a great read."
--Gish Jen, author of Thank You, Mr. Nixon

"Lander's immigrant-origin students--from a kaleidoscope of countries and cultures--come alive in these pages, until we feel we know them. . . . Her message is simple and powerful: New Americans make themselves with help from those of us who are already here. That making starts in school, as should our help. A compelling read."
--Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America

"Making Americans is a powerful affirmation of the importance of belonging and hope in our lives. In this important and groundbreaking work, Jessica Lander outlines what we can do to create conditions in schools and communities that support all students--especially our newest Americans. Along the way, she highlights the stories of people who have made a difference in this great country, as well as those who will have a hand in its future. This is a must-read for all educators. It's a must-read for all Americans."
--Don Vu, former teacher and principal, author of Life, Literacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness