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Same Sun Here
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Same Sun Here
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In this extraordinary novel in letters, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.Meena and...
In this extraordinary novel in letters, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.Meena and...
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Description-

  • In this extraordinary novel in letters, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.

    Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City's Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner's son. As Meena's family studies for citizenship exams and River's town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences. With honesty and humor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great value of being and having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Silas House is the nationally best-selling author of Eli the Good as well as the award-winning novels Clay's Quilt, A Parchment of Leaves, and The Coal Tattoo. He is an associate professor at Berea College and lives in eastern Kentucky.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 19, 2011
    Even better than reading a refreshingly honest story by one talented writer is reading one by two such writers. House (Eli the Good) and adult author Vaswani (Where the Long Grass Bends) alternate between the voices of Meena—a 12-year-old girl who lives with her recently immigrated Indian family in New York City—and River, who lives with his environmental activist grandmother in rural Kentucky. The two connect as pen pals, and their letters reveal the unusual intersections (like okra) and the stark contrasts in their lives. The preteens reflect on everything from prejudice and religion to politics and music, but their voices are so open, true, and even humorous that the story never feels heavy or preachy (“You are the best person I know,” River writes. “But I’m sorry, I still don’t like to talk about shaving your legs and all that. That is something we will have to agree to disagree on”). Meena and River don’t have all their troubles worked out by book’s end, but readers will feel confident that their friendship will get them through whatever lies ahead. Ages 9–up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2012

    Gr 4-7-This tender and breathtakingly honest story about unlikely friendships and finding common ground will captivate readers. Writing beautifully in alternating voices, the authors introduce readers to Meena, a 12-year-old girl who recently immigrated with her family from Mussoorie, India, to New York City; and River, who lives with his mother and environmentalist grandmother in rural Kentucky. The 2008 U.S. presidential election serves as a momentous historical backdrop as the two youngsters become pen pals, bonding over shared experiences (deep relationships with their grandmothers, fathers who work away from home, and an abiding love of dogs), and opening each other's eyes to the vast cultural and social differences between them. As they navigate tragedy and confusion in their lives-Meena grieves over her grandmother's death and an environmental disaster wreaks havoc on River's community-the preteens find solace in one another. At one point they wonderingly speculate about a possible telepathic connection ("I believe I heard you say, River Dean Justice! It's me, Meena....' So I think we do have telepathy."). In an era when social media permeates every area of our lives, Meena and River's old-fashioned camaraderie through letters feels refreshing and true. While the conclusion seems slightly unfinished, audiences will revel in this lovely story about a boy and girl who are not so different from one another after all.-Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2012
    A very modern cross-cultural story narrated by way of an old-fashioned pen-pal correspondence. Meena, a new immigrant from India, lives in an illegal sublet in downtown Manhattan. River, who is of Irish extraction with a little Cherokee thrown in, resides in rural Kentucky. But their core experiences--living in the lower economic realm of the 99 percent, taking inspiration from their wise, nature-loving grandmothers, having fathers who work away from home and mothers who long for their husbands--are the same. During the course of the story, River becomes an environmental activist like his grandmother, trying to end a coal-mining technique that is polluting his community. Meena joins her school's drama club, becomes more Americanized and mourns the death of the beloved grandmother she left behind in India. The protagonists, who have clear individual voices, are an adult's dream--polite, literate, studious and hard working--but kids should like them as well and identify with their struggles. In time, they become each other's best friend and sounding board, supplying understanding and honest feedback. Because it's a slice of life, a textured, life-ways comparison, there's not a lot of narrative drive, and some arid patches may cause readers' attention to flag. Nonetheless, a finely detailed depiction of two separate worlds that demonstrates a deep well of shared humanity. (Fiction. 9-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Candlewick Press
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