Donwerth-Chikamatsu, Annie Somewhere Among, 439 pages. Atheneum, 2016. $17. Content: G.
Ema lives with her American mother and Japanese father in a tiny apartment in Japan. Usually she spends her summers at her American grandparents’ home. This year, however, her mother is pregnant and not doing very well, so they are going to spend the summer and school year at her Japanese grandparents’ rural home. Obaachan (grandmother) is hard to live with and Ema does not want to spend the year away from her school friends, who at least understand that the American looking-girl is a native-speaking Japanese girl. Challenges surround Ema on all sides and when the attacks of 9/11 occur, things just get more muddled.
While there are tiny hints of poetic language in the free verse format of this book, it would have been much better as a legit novel. As is, I am not personally very interested in a book that only pretends to be poetry that also doesn’t have other depths to recommend it. I can’t see any child reading this unless it is an assignment. I would have been a little more supportive in a fleshed out version of Ema’s heartaches and challenges.
NOT RECOMMENDED. Cindy, Library Teacher