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9 Local Warehouse Children's Young Adult- Social Issue Fiction
25 Remote Warehouse Children's Young Adult- Social Issue Fiction

Orchards

by

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter One

Because of You

One week after

you stuffed a coil of rope

into your backpack

and walked uphill into

Osgoods' orchard

where blooms were still closed fists

my father looked up

summer airfares

to Tokyo

why?

I protested

it wasn't my fault

I didn't do anything!

exactly!

my mother hissed

and made the call

to her older sister

my aunt

in Shizuoka

nothing would change

their minds

all my mother

would say

as I followed her

through garden beds

transplanting cubes of seedlings

she'd grown under lights

in hothouses

all she'd say

row after row

in tight-lipped

talk-down

do-as-I-say

Japanese

was

you can reflect

in the presence of your ancestors

not that I'm alone

in being sent away-- 

Lisa's off to summer school

Becca to Bible camp

Mona to cousins in Quebec

Emily to help in her uncle's store

Erin to math camp

Abby to some adventure program

Noelle to her father's

Gina to her mother's

Namita to New Jersey . . .

all twenty-nine

eighth-grade girls

scattered, as Gina said,

like beads

from a necklace

snapped

but we weren't a necklace

strung in a circle

we were more

an atom:

electrons

arranged in shells

around Lisa,

Becca and Mona

first shell solid,

the rest of us

in orbitals farther out

less bound

less stable

and you--

in the least stable

most vulnerable

outermost shell

you sometimes

hovered near

sometimes drifted off

some days were hurled far

from Lisa

our nucleus

whose biting wit made us

laugh

           spin

                     revolve

around her

always close to her

indifferent to orbits

like yours

farther out than

ours

after you were

found in the grove

of Macs and Cortlands

that were still tight fists

of not-yet-bloom

and the note was found

on your dresser

by your mother

who brought it to the principal

who shared it with police

who called for an investigation

and pulled in counselors

from all over the district

word got around

and people in town

began to stare

and talk

and text

about our uncaring

generation

still

I don't think I

personally

did anything to drive you

to perfect slipknots

or learn to tie a noose . . .

with what?

I wonder

shoelaces?

backpack cords?

drawstrings in your gym shorts

as you waited for your turn

at the softball bat?

because of you, Ruth,

I'm exiled

to my maternal grandmother, Baachan,

to the ancestors at the altar

and to Uncle, Aunt and cousins

I haven't seen in three years--

not since our last trip back

for Jiichan's funeral

when Baachan

told my sister Emi

she was just right

but told me

I was fat

should eat

less

fill myself eighty percent

no more

each meal

but then I was small

then I didn't have hips

then was before this bottom

inherited from my father's

Russian Jewish mother

my mother was

youngest

of four children born

to my grandparents

mikan orange farmers

in a Shizuoka village of sixty households

where eldest son

inherits all

but there were

no sons

in her generation

so my aunt

eldest daughter

took in a husband who

took on the Mano name

took over the Mano holdings

became sole heir

head of household

my uncle

into my suitcase

my mother has stuffed

gifts--

socks

dish towels

framed photos of Emi and me

last year's raspberry jam

pancake mix

maple syrup--

and ten books for me to finish

by September

books she didn't pick

I know

because she only reads novels

in Japanese

and these ten are

in English--

books chosen by a librarian

or teacher

or other mother

with themes of

         responsibility

         self-discovery

         coming-of-age

         reaching out

I GET IT

I want to shout

she also changed dollars

into yen

and divided bills

into three envelopes

labeled in Japanese--

one for spending

one for transportation and school fees

one with gift money for Buddhist ceremonies

to honor her father--my Jiichan,

this third summer

since the year

of his passing

the nonstop flight to Narita

is thirteen hours

but

door to door

my home in New York

to theirs in Shizuoka

is a full twenty-four

on the plane there is

time . . .

for movies

books

journal entries

meals

magazines

movies

sleep

meals

magazines

sleep

boredom

apprehension

I have never been to

Japan alone

never traveled anywhere alone

except sleepovers

and overnight camp

for a week in Vermont

on the plane

flight attendants chat with me

unaccompanied minor

praise my language abilities

assume it's a

happy occasion

my returning

to the village of my mother's childhood

for the summer

but they don't know

what I know, Ruth--

that it's all

because of you

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Starred Review, School Library Journal, March 2011:

"The narrative is rich in authentic cultural detail and is complemented by attractive woodcut illustrations of Japanese imagery to evoke the story’s setting. Thompson has crafted an exquisite, thought-provoking story of grief and healing that will resonate with teen readers and give them much to discuss."

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385739788
Author:
Thompson, Holly
Publisher:
Ember
Subject:
Situations / Suicide
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-Friendship
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.63 x 0.75 in 0.595 lb
Age Level:
from 12

Related Subjects

Children's » Poetry » Stories in Verse
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Suicide
Young Adult » General

Orchards New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.99 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Ember - English 9780385739788 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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