Refugee High: Coming of Age in America: Online Event with Author Elly Fishman

Thursday, October 14, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom Event Backup

Award-winning journalist Elly Fishman discusses her book documenting the lives of immigrant students in Chicago.

For a century, Chicago's Roger C. Sullivan High School has been a landing place for immigrants. In recent years, during the worst global refugee crisis in history, its immigrant population has numbered close to three hundred—nearly half the student body—and many are refugees new to the United States. These young people come from thirty-five different countries, speaking more than three dozen languages.

In Refugee High: Coming of Age in America, Fishman documents the lives of the students, teachers, and administrators negotiating this complex terrain. Among them: Belenge, a Congolese refugee who must navigate gang turf wars he doesn't understand; Mariah, an Iraqi sophomore who aches for the American mainstream and struggles to balance her parents' traditional expectations and the promise of independence; Shahina, a Burmese junior who narrowly escapes an arranged marriage; and Alejandro, a Guatemalan asylum-seeker who faces deportation just days before he's due to graduate. But above all, these students are still teens, flirting, dreaming, and working as they navigate their new life in America.

Refugee High, winner of the prestigious Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a first book in the public interest, is based on Fishman’s Chicago 2017 Magazine article, "Welcome to Refugee High." Fishman will discuss her approach to reporting, the book itself, and why telling these stories is critical.

Copies of the book are available for purchase from The Book Stall in person, online, or by phone at 847-446-8880.

Find Refugee High: Coming of Age in America in the library catalog.

Online registration is closed.