Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR)

High Impact Educational Practices, HIPs

Community reading programs are Common Intellectual Experiences (CIE), which are a High Impact Educational Practice.  

2018 Author event

Helen Thorpe

PPCC Centennial Theater, Tuesday October 2, 2018

Video available at:


All Pikes Peak Reads 2018

From an award-winning, “meticulously observant” writer comes a powerful and moving account of how refugee teenagers at a public high school learn English and become Americans, in the care of a compassionate teacher. The Newcomers follows the lives of 22 immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado, in a beginner-level English Language Acquisition class. Speaking no English, unfamiliar with American culture, they face the enormous challenge of adapting. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. Many come directly from refugee camps. Yet this is a story of transformation. At the center of The Newcomers is Mr. Williams, their dedicated and endlessly resourceful teacher. As the students blossom in his care, the book becomes funny, poignant, and uplifting. We see the refugee crisis at human scale, but also the galvanizing example of how refugee families exhibit extraordinary resilience when given the chance to start over. And we learn that all of us can respond in a moral fashion to a troubled globe by doing good at human scale. Readers see the world through different eyes after reading this book.

The Newcomers assignments

Pikes Peak Community College Libraries
Information ∞ Inquiry ∞ Learning