In this one-hour video Laura Alvarez and her bilingual fourth- and fifth-grade students in Oakland, California examine different perspectives and experiences of immigrants and then formulate and defend positions on issues with which they connect personally. They examine My Name Is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, and Tales from Gold Mountain by Paul Yee, and compare characters' hopes, expectations, and actual experiences upon arriving in the United States. The students conduct research, which includes interviews with family members and nonfiction readings. Alma Flor Ada visits the classroom, answers questions about her novel, and facilitates a discussion about social justice and taking action for change. As a culminating project, the students write and revise persuasive letters to raise public awareness about the issues they've examined. Students identify, research, and argue about complex ideas, hone their skills in critical thinking, organization, persuasion, public speaking, research, and teamwork.