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Same Sun Here by [House, Silas, Vaswani, Neela]
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Same Sun Here Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Age Level: 9 - 12
Grade Level: 4 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Even better than reading a refreshingly honest story by one talented writer is reading one by two such writers. House and Vaswani alternate between the voices of Meena and River. The two connect as pen pals, and their letters reveal the unusual intersections and the stark contrasts in their lives... Readers will feel confident that their friendship will get them through whatever lies ahead.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This tender and breathtakingly honest story about unlikely friendships and finding common ground will captivate readers... In an era when social media permeates every area of our lives, Meena and River’s old-fashioned camaraderie through letters feels refreshing and true. Audiences will revel in this lovely story about a boy and girl who are not so different from one another after all.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Product Details

  • File Size: 895 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0763656844
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 14, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WA8VYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,868 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I learned about this book while listening to an NPR interview with the authors who said that after deciding to co-author the book, they did not plan the plot, but let the plot unfold as they wrote letters to each other as the character they were representing. This was billed as a book for young adults, but I thought it sounded interesting so I downloaded it onto my Kindle.

I am definitely not a young adult but thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. The book was well written in an interesting style -- two young pen pals writing to each other. Reading each letter and wondering how the other character would respond was like a mystery, or like one of the poems composed by the young people in the book. The book was also informative. It is not only the young who need to be reminded of some of the important issues of our times.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I sit here,

A pooch,

lovingly, sleepily,

Snuggled,

On either side of me.

Coffee in hand,

Shady cool by the magnolia tree twice as high as the roof.

And I hear Meena

and remember the smells

And sounds

Of my New York City 20 years ago.

I listen to the tinkle of the windchimes my dad made in Florida before he died.

Brought home to this Kentucky porch.

And I raise my cup to the hills and hollers Of Knox County,

And say,"Thank you Lord!"

And thank you Silas,

For bringing my once home

And now home

Clearer to my eyes and ears,

And heart.

Chas
Proud paw of Christian
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book! It consists of letters written between two pen pals. One lives in New York City and the other lives in the eastern part of Kentucky. They learn that they have many ideas in common even tough their living situations are different. It is a great book for young people to learn about the troubles and highlights of other young people. There is also an enlightening theme on the environmental concern of "mountain top removal" and how the young people are involved in that.

I read it and then immediately sent it to my 11 year old granddaughter. She loved it and has since obtained a pen pal! So many ideas can be shared through letters!!
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Format: Hardcover
This book begins with one of the best first lines I have read. It speaks of the core of what one is about to read in the next 300 pages, it causes the reader to consider what shapes relationships, how one relates in them and it introduces the characters who make up the book establishing the rules by which they will develop their relationship. The characters, Meena Joshi, an Indian immigrant living in New York City and River Dean Justice, an eighth grader in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, as part of a school assignment, have elected to be pen pals the "old school" way - writing letters and send them through the postal mail.
The authors are marvelously adept at giving voice to two adolescents. The vulnerability, innocence, drama and trusting nature of early adulthood are present in the words these two likeable characters use to introduce themselves to each other. As the book develops, this trust is proven to be sound enough for each to share secrets ranging from being large enough to be dangerous if discovered to embarrassing enough to make life miserable if exposed at school. Reading the letters, as the story is told entirely through the letters written to each other, is both a trip down "memory lane," recalling the anticipation of receiving a letter & the thoughtful process of penning a response and a glimpse into the contemporary world with its dangers, injustice, excitement and discovery.
There were points I feared this book would become a political rant writ in a new format, but the authors never overstate any issue raised.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am still listening to this book. I am from Appalachia in Kentucky and the accent used by River is spot on in the narration. I think it is a lovely sharing between two young teens that is both true and enlightening. The inside look at cultures of Appalachia and inner city New York is even more opened with the difficulties of an illegal Indian girl and a Appalachian boy dealing with the first sight of mountain top removal. Silas House has written an excellent tale of truth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Used this book for a book group for 9-12 year olds. The older kids liked it "okay", the younger ones missed the message entirely. As an adult, I enjoyed it and loved the format of letters back and forth. This would be a great book to use for a Social Studies Class to talk about the difference in cultures and how people who come to the US do not see it with the same eyes as a native.
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Format: Hardcover
Middle school students Meena Joshi and River Dean Justice have never met in person, but they have become close friends through the letters they exchange in the pen-pal program arranged by their schools. Through these letters, Meena learned that River lives in a rural part of Kentucky that has been experiencing large-scale coal extraction through controversial mountaintop removal activities. River, in turn, found out that Meena and her immigrant family constantly face the risk of eviction from the tiny rent-controlled apartment they call home in New York City.

Despite the apparent differences in their living situations, Meena and River have discovered that they share several common characteristics, including deep loyalty to their family, a strong sense of social justice, and the willingness to take risks. Through their letters they encourage each other to use these traits to advocate for change in their own lives and those of their family members and friends.

Narrated through the alternating perspectives of the two main protagonists, this novel for middle grade readers offers a compelling account of the social impacts of some very real environmental and economic issues. Woven into the story are a number of important economic concepts, including migration to find job opportunities, the impact of rent control policies on property owner behaviors, and the consequences of natural resource extraction for local communities. Powerful lessons indeed, but made accessible through the lively narratives of the young protagonists.
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