Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Somewhere Among

SomewhereAmongSomewhere Among (A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book, 2016) by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu is such a good book. It’s told in verse and the sparse language works so well.
Ema has a Japanese father and an American mother. Usually, she gets to spend the end of the summer in California with her mom and Grandpa Bob and Nana. But this year, her mother is expecting a baby and needs rest, so beginning in June, she and Ema will stay with Jiichan and Obaachan in western Tokyo. And it’s not going to be easy–especially with Papa working so far away. Then shortly after school starts, the whole world changes with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Listen to Ema herself:
At home
with Mom and Papa
I am
two cultures
two languages
two time zones
every day.
Everywhere I go
here or there
I am different.

Doesn’t that just pull your heartstrings?
Read about the author and her family here.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Inside Out and Back Again

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

inside outThe Newbery honor book Inside Out and Back Again (HarperCollins, 2011) by Thanhha Lai is written in verse snapshots. Here’s a brief summary of the story:
It’s 1975, 10-year-old Hà, her mother and 3 older brothers must leave Saigon, Vietnam. Schools were closed a month early, the president has resigned, the communists are coming. They pack up and head for the Navy ships to escape. They end up on the island of Guam and then in Alabama.
Thanhha brings Hà and her family to life. I love the line: “It’s hard to be grateful when you feel stupid because you don’t know the language.”
I also enjoyed the inside story on how the author wrote this award winning story. Read the article here. Read her bio here.