eBook - 2011
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Winner of the APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature
An ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book

After a classmate commits suicide, Kana Goldberg--a half-Japanese, half-Jewish American--wonders who is responsible. She and her cliquey friends said some thoughtless things to the girl. Hoping that Kana will reflect on her behavior, her parents pack her off to her mother's ancestral home in Japan for the summer. There Kana spends hours under the hot sun tending to her family's mikan orange groves.
Kana's mixed heritage makes it hard to fit in at first, especially under the critical eye of her traditional grandmother, who has never accepted Kana's father. But as the summer unfolds, Kana gets to know her relatives, Japan, and village culture, and she begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about the tragedy back home. Then news about a friend sends her world spinning out of orbit all over again.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 2011
ISBN: 9780375898341
Characteristics: 1 online resource ; 327 pages : illustrations.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Mar 25, 2015

I am not a poem person, but I am so glad that I gave this book a chance. Holly Thompson did an incredible job of walking the reader through the broken thoughts of a young girl who is lost and confused after a classmate commits suicide. When we are shocked and confused it is difficult to find the right words to explain how we feel or to make sense of the broken pieces. I wish I had this book to read when I was in grade 9.

branch_reviews Mar 14, 2012

Sent to stay with family in Japan for the summer following a classmate's suicide, Kana has a lot of time to reflect on recent events. It’s not fair to be sent away, really. It wasn’t her fault. Yet somehow, she can’t help but think about everything that’s happened, and wonder. Sometimes friendships aren’t what they seem. Sometimes words have great impact. Sometimes there’s more to see than meets the eye. What if she had understood more? What could she have done differently? What can be learned, and how do you move on? Amid the strong and comforting embrace of family so far away from home, Kana questions, and contemplates, and tries to make sense of it all.
Beautifully written in verse, the author presents a sensitive and poignant story of one girl’s struggle to find meaning following tragedy.
Reviewed by LZ

Apr 06, 2011

This book took on a format similar to that of Ellen Hopkins and Terra McVoy (Pure, After the Kiss..) As a result, it was a short read, and not very descriptive. The characters were so underdeveloped, which then made me feel distant and indifferent to the story, as a reader. Not much of a climax, and the book was overall very uneventful. Not sure if I would recommend it.

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