April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Same Sun Here (Audiobook)

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Orange and black Audiobook cover with kids in silohuetteSame Sun Here. By Silas House and Neela Vaswani. 5 CDs. 5:49 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4558-2231-7. $49.7.
Gr 4-7–Meena, a recent immigrant from India, lives in Manhattan’s Chinatown with her family. Through a program arranged by their schools, she becomes a pen pal with River, who lives in rural Kentucky and is the son of a coal miner. They exchange letters via snail mail and, as a result, learn about each other and themselves. Sharing day-to-day activities, secrets, opinions, and questions, Meena and River start to break down barriers and talk about their lives. Their letters reveal their many similarities and differences. They both have a close relationship with their grandmothers, love dogs, and their fathers work far away in order to provide for their families. They maintain their correspondence as they go through some difficult moments in their lives such as when Meena faces the death of her grandmother in India and when River’s town faces environmental concerns related to coal mining. The novel (Candlewick, 2012) is perfectly narrated by authors Silas House (River) and Neela Vaswani (Meena), further invigorating the story with their Southern and Indian accents. This tale about debunking cultural stereotypes, friendship, and finding common ground will resonate with listeners.–Katie Llera, Sayreville Middle School, NJ