Going to a new school can be a scary experience. Going to a new school where you are different from many of your classmates and struggle with the language can be daunting. Anais, however, manages to hold her own in what she calls “Crazy America.” Anais writes almost daily to her grandmother, whose instructions to Anais were to write only in English and to tell her one good thing about America in each letter. Although not an immigrant, author Ruth Freeman draws upon her experience as an English Language Learning teacher in Maine to present our country, in all its peculiarities. As Anais learns about America, we too learn more about ourselves and our country — a timely lesson!
~ Eight Cousins, Holiday Picks 2017— From Holiday Picks 2017
It's hard to start at a new school . . . especially if you're in a new country. Back home, Anais was the best English student in her class. Here in Crazy America she feels like she doesn't know English at all. Nothing makes sense (chicken FINGERS?), and the kids at school have some very strange ideas about Africa. Anais misses her family - Papa and grandmother Oma and big brother Olivier because here in Crazy America there's only little Jean-Claude and Mama. So she writes letters to Oma - lots of them. She tells her she misses her and hopes the fighting is over soon. She tells her about Halloween, snow, mac n cheese dinners, and princess sleepovers. She tells her about the weird things Crazy Americans do, and how she just might be turning into a Crazy American herself. One Good Thing About America is a sweet, often funny middle-grade novel that explores differences and common ground across cultures. It arrives amidst the prevailing climate of fear and doubt in America. This story of a refugee child restores hope and reminds us that America is, in fact, a nation of immigrants where we must accept our differences in order to survive and that's one very good thing.