Friday, November 29, 2013

The Language Inside by Holly Thompson

Emma loves being Japanese even though she doesn't look it. She is white on the outside but that is where most of her identity stops: she claims a Japanese identity every chance she gets. When her mom gets sick with cancer, the family must return to the states for her to begin treatment. Emma resists but knows she must go. There in the U.S., she starts high school again, battling to find new friends who truly understand her identity. She also volunteers at a local elder care home, leading her into knowing how to be with people who already know themselves, young and old.

Holly Thompson writes so clearly in prose. I loved how she wrote Orchards, and she nails another one here with The Language Inside.  I think what I love most is the voice: I can hear both Emma as well as the other characters cheering her on, welcoming her into their lives. This is a sweet story, one where our global world could actually identify with the varying cultures so many of us carry within us. 

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