INTO A STRANGE LAND: Unaccompanied Refugee Youth in America by Brent & Melissa Ashabranner Ashabranner
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INTO A STRANGE LAND: Unaccompanied Refugee Youth in America

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A full account of the plight of recent young refugees to America. Citing the country's history as a haven, the authors tell of numerous youngsters, mostly Vietnamese and Cambodians. Talking with the teens and preteens themselves, their foster parents, and agency officials, the authors discuss their pasts, how foster families are chosen and why they get involved, adjustment for both children and adults to new cultural ways, the depression children may suffer after what seems to be a successful beginning, and sources for strength to get past it. The goal, whether with foster parents or in a group home, is to have a stable environment and gain life skills. Mutual happiness and love are welcome extras, not always forthcoming. Individual stories are moving--the fear of a new arrival who stays in bed three days, the loneliness of an Amerasian who seeks his father, a boy's poignant request to regain lost childhood years when birth records are found--""Do I have to be 15?"" in this case, the family and agency allow him to live as 12, in keeping with his needs and behavior. A dramatic, balanced look at the successes and failures of these lifesaving efforts; an inspirational testament to the human spirit.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1987
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Dodd, Mead