One Green Apple by Eve Bunting

On her second day in her new school in a new country, Farah takes a field trip to an apple orchard. She doesn’t speak English and isn’t sure she likes her new home. None of the other girls wear a dupatta on their heads and she isn’t used to boys and girls being in the same class. But as the day continues, she notices some things that look, sound, and smell the same in any country. When each child picks an apple to add to the apple press for cider, Farah chooses a little green apple that’s different, like her. As she helps the other children turn the crank and sees the apples blending together, she starts to realize that she can blend in here, too, while still being herself.  The story is told through Farah’s internal dialogue as she observes life on the farm and her classmates. I felt it was very realistic. For example, Farah wants to tell the teacher that she isn’t stupid, she just doesn’t understand the language, but of course she can’t. I liked that the children were friendly and welcoming, but it does mention that a few of them look at her coldly. The lovely watercolour illustrations in this picture book are filled with sunshine and express Farah’s emotions vividly, especially when she laughs with her classmates.  This is a lovely story about coming to a new place and starting to feel a sense of belonging. (Submitted by Gayle).

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