Eleven-year-old Nathan McClelland hates the fact that everything is changing in his small farming community, now that the countryside is turning into a coalfield. His best friend just moved away and immigrant miners have built shanties where his farm used to be. To his parents' dismay, Nathan befriends a young immigrant boy named Arturo, who walks back and forth across his lane every day on his way to the coal mines. Nathan decides to help Arturo become a real American--the kind of friend he thinks he wants--but soon discovers that he and Arturo have more in common than he realized. When an accident befalls Arturo, Nathan must challenge traditional ways of thinking in order to come to the aid of his friend.
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Richard Easton is an English professor at Washington and Jefferson University. He has lived in Pennsylvania all his life; A REAL AMERICAN is based on stories from his ancestors, who experienced first-hand the struggle between southern European immigrants and older British and Germanic families. This is his first book.From School Library Journal:
Grades 3-6--An insightful look at the immigrant experience in America. Eleven-year-old Nathan McClelland, who lives on a farm in a small Pennsylvania town, becomes increasingly lonely after a coal-mining company buys up neighboring properties and his friends move away. In their place, Italian immigrant miners move in, among them Arturo Tozzi and his family. While they want to forge a new and better life, the remaining townspeople, including Nathan's father, worry about losing everything they have worked for. At first Nathan dislikes the changes, but as the two boys develop a friendship, he becomes more sympathetic to the newcomers and their plight. When Arturo is injured in an accident in the mine that leads to a threatened strike, Nathan and his parents align themselves with the workers and reach out to the Tozzis. While the protagonist is a well-developed character with doubts, worries, and curiosity, the novel's strength is its unbiased view of the complexities surrounding its theme. Fans of the "Dear America" series (Scholastic) will especially appreciate this engaging story that flows swiftly and builds to a satisfying conclusion.
Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Clarion Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0618133399
Book Description Clarion Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110618133399