Books / Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Simon & Schuster...
this beautiful and haunting debut novel in verse, a Japanese-American girl
struggles with the loneliness of being caught between two worlds when the
tragedy of 9/11 strikes an ocean away.
Eleven-year-old Ema has always been of two worlds—her father’s
Japanese heritage and her mother’s life in America. She’s spent
summers in California for as long as she can remember, but this year she
and her mother are staying with her grandparents in Japan as they await
the arrival of Ema’s baby sibling. Her mother’s pregnancy has been
tricky, putting everyone on edge, but Ema’s heart is singing—finally,
there will be someone else who will understand what it’s like to belong
and not belong at the same time.
But Ema’s good spirits are muffled by her grandmother who is cold,
tightfisted, and quick to reprimand her for the slightest infraction.
Then, when their stay is extended and Ema must go to a new school, her
worries of not belonging grow. And when the tragedy of 9/11 strikes, Ema,
her parents, and the world watch as the twin towers fall…
As her mother grieves for her country across the ocean—threatening the
safety of her pregnancy—and her beloved grandfather falls ill, Ema feels
more helpless and hopeless than ever. And yet, surrounded by tragedy, Ema
sees for the first time the tender side of her grandmother, and the reason
for the penny-pinching and sternness make sense—her grandmother has been
preparing so they could all survive the worst.
Dipping and soaring, Somewhere Among is the story of one
girl’s search for identity, a sense of peace, and the discovery that
hope can indeed rise from the ashes of disaster.
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