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First Person Fiction: Behind the Mountains Paperback – February 1, 2004
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Beautifully written by Edwidge Danticat, recognized by The New York Times as one of our best young writers, Behind The Mountains explores the themes of coming of age, family relationships, separation and reunification, as well as immigration and cultural identity.
Behind The Mountains is one of the books in the Scholastic First Person Fiction series exploring the experiences of teenagers of various backgrounds who immigrate to America.
"Are you from Haiti?" I asked.
He nodded, surprised.
"I just read a great book about your country," I told him. "I learned about the beautiful mountains and hibiscus flowers there."
I watched the smile spread across his face. Were it not for Edwidge Danticat's young adult novel, Behind the Mountains, I might have walked wordlessly past this stranger. Now I was curious about his journey, and he was thrilled by my knowledge of his country and culture. That's the purpose of Orchard's First Person Fiction series - to create understanding and empathy for the immigrants around us. Using fictional diary entries, Danticat recounts Celiane Esperance's journey from a rural town to Port-au-Prince to Brooklyn. I painlessly learned about Haitian history and politics, and gained insight into why some Haitians desire to immigrate to America.
The book is also particularly written for immigrant teens. Danticat, the acclaimed author of three adult novels, expertly depicts Celiane's high hopes of seeing her father again and the subsequent stressful reality of a family reunion. Reading about Celiane's first miserable days in New York will encourage immigrant teens to welcome other newcomers. As Celiane describes her sorrow over her father's conflict with her older brother Moy, I remembered my older siblings hammering out compromises with our parents. These and other themes common to immigrants from any country make me wish this book had been around when I was reading out on that Flushing fire escape.
I highly recommend this to young readers (4th-6th grade) or even adults who enjoy historical fiction, learning about other cultures, or are undergoing family changes.
I give this a 5 star rating for the wonderful prose, easy readability, smooth incorporation of beautiful cultural and historical facts, and engaging characters.
My book is called Behind the Mountain by Edwidge Danticat.
A family is broke and they are trying to get to New York. They live in Haiti. Bombs are going off all over the place. A girl in the family is trying to help her mom from almost dying from a bomb. That was my introduction.
The main characters are the dad, manman which is the mom and Celiane the dater. Manman is almost dead from a bomb. Celiane want's her dad. The father is in New York giving money to the mom and dater and brother who also has money. The brother is working to give them money to. Those were all the characters.
In this book they want to leave there country. There is a lot of bombing happing so they want to leave their country Haiti. In Haiti 2 kiddies died from the bombing happing in Haiti. They finally got to New York and they were happy because they would not die any more. When Celiane got to New York she had a good school and like before. That was my setting.
The family is trying to get courage to move to New York with there dad. They don't want to be in bombs any more. The girl want's a better school. The family is trying to get money from people to go to New York. The theme is courage.
If you read this book you will be able to visualize the book. So if you read it now I won't let you stop. This book is about one big adventure in 2 different countries. If you like weapons I think you should read this book. That was my conclusion.