Refugee High: Coming of Age in America (A Skokie Public Library Event)

We pleased to support Skokie Public Library as they welcome award-winning journalist Elly Fishman. She'll be discussing her new book Refugee High: Coming of Age in America, which documents the lives of immigrant students in Chicago. This virtual program is free and open to the public. Click HERE to register!  (If you don't have a Skokie Library card, you can still register by calling (847) 673-7774)

You can buy copies of the book from us in person, online, or by phone at 847-446-8880. The library will also have copies for check-ou!

About the Book: 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, Elly 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.

About the Author: Elly Fishman worked as a senior editor and writer at Chicago magazine. Her features have won numerous awards including a City Regional Magazine Award for her article "Welcome to Refugee High," her first report on the students and faculty at Chicago's Roger C. Sullivan High School. Refugee High: Coming of Age in America (The New Press) is based on the article, and won the prestigious Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a first book in the public interest. A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Chicago, Fishman currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband and their dog and teaches in the Journalism Department at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.


Event date: 

Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Online Zoom webinar!
Refugee High: Coming of Age in America By Elly Fishman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620975084
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: New Press - August 10th, 2021

Lit Hub's Most Anticipated of 2021

A year in the life of a Chicago high school that has one of the highest proportions of refugees of any school in the nation