Lowitz, Leza Up From the Sea, 248 pages. Crown New York, 2016. $17.99. Language: 0 swears, 0 “f”; Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG;
While at school on March 11, 2011 Kai, a biracial teen, his friends, teachers, and community experience a 9.0 earthquake followed by a massive tsunami. The initially struggle is to find safety from the tsunami, but the long‐term struggle is to find peace in the face of personal loss, and great destruction. He must find joy where little exists, and offer forgiveness where it’s unlikely to be welcomed.
The PG rating is due to loss of life and the total destruction of villages. The book is written in a novel-in-verse form with scattered Japanese vocabulary words (with definitions at the bottom of the page). The Japanese terms were annoying at first, but added to the book when I figured out an exact translation would be wordy and distracting from the writing style. The writing style kept my complete focus on the story line. It offers a no “fluff” plot with a lot of detail left to the imaginative reader.
MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kelly Graham