Where We Come From

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 4
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

In this unique collaboration, four authors lyrically explore where they each come from—literally and metaphorically—as well as what unites all of us as humans.

Richly layered illustrations connect past and present, making for an accessible and visually striking look at history, family, and identity.

We come from stardust / our bodies made of ancient elements. / We come from single cells / evolving over billions of years. / We come from place, language, and spirit. / And each of us comes from story.

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978-1-5415-9612-2
$14.24
978-1-7284-6827-3
$23.99
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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Expository Literature, Diverse Books: Celebrating Differences , Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: C Social Awareness, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2022-10-04
Text Type Poetry
BISACS JNF007030, JNF025180, JNF069000
Dewey 811/.6
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 1000
Guided Reading Level U
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, and eSource

Author: John Coy

John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and nonfiction and fiction picture books including Hoop Genius, Game Changer, Their Great Gift, Dads, and If We Were Gone. He has received numerous awards for his work including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, and the Burr/Warzalla Award for Distinguished Achievement in Children's Literature. John lives by the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

Author: Shannon Gibney

Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), and Dream Country (Dutton, 2018) young adult novels that won Minnesota Book Awards. Gibney is faculty in English at Minneapolis College, where she teaches writing. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, her speculative memoir, The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be (Dutton, 2023), was named a 2024 Printz Honor Book. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.

Author: Sun Yung Shin

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin is a Korean American poet, fiction writer, nonfiction writer, editor, and educator. Her books include four collections of poetry: The Wet Hex (Coffee House Press, 2022); Unbearable Splendor (Coffee House Press, 2016, Minnesota Book Award winner); Rough, and Savage (Coffee House Press, 2012); and Skirt Full of Black (Coffee House Press, 2006, Asian American Literary Award). Her poetry has been supported with fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Residency, the Archibald Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She lives in Minneapolis near Minnehaha Creek.

Author: Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson is an award-winning writer, speaker, and editor. Her work includes Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past (2006), Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life (2011), and The Seed Keeper (2021) which won the Minnesota Book Award. Her essays have been featured in many publications, including We Are Meant to Rise; Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations; and A Good Time for the Truth. Wilson is a Mdewakanton descendent, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation.

Illustrator: Dion MBD

Dion MBD, because Dionisius Mehaga Bangun Djayasaputra is way too long to remember, is an Indonesian illustrator/designer who lives and works between Brooklyn and Bandung. Dion received his Illustration BFA from Ringling College of Art Design in Florida where he grew his fascinations with clouds. In his down time, Dion is either cooking, listening to John Mayer, or cloud watching.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Where We Come From

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Awards

  • Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2023
  • Heartland Booksellers Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2023
  • White Raven Book List, Winner, 2023

Reviews

School Library Journal

“Outstanding in all ways, this title deserves a place in most collections and adds a wonderful opportunity for upper elementary students (and higher!) to unpack our complicated histories.”—starred, School Library Journal

Booklist

“[The authors] individually and collectively tell the story of how this country has developed and how many unique parts are reflected in people today. . . . Children and adults will find much to study and contemplate in this unique and ambitious work.”—Booklist

Shelf Awareness

“This collaboration of American voices offers an unusual and honest look at the complexity of identity.” —Shelf Awareness

Kirkus Reviews

“[A] quilt of many details that gives the reader less a feeling of understanding one person but more a sense of the rich tapestry that is America.”—Kirkus Reviews