Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Orchards + Other 2011 Books

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week I'm waiting on....

Orchards by Holly Thompson

Release Date: February 22, 2011

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.

-I LOVE how this is about a girl who has to deal with the death of someone she bullied. Actually I don't love it, I hate how bullying has become such a huge issue and gotten so out of hand. It's beyond upsetting. But I do love that this issue is being addressed in (I hope) a candid matter. As for the fact that she is half Japanese, half Jewish? WIN. I've always felt that not only are poc underrepresented but so are Jewish teenagers (in books that are not Holocaust related). Huzzah!

Also may I just say that I have found so many 2011 books that I'm dying to read? Maybe this is partly due to the fact that when I started my blog, I didn't do many WoW about books published in 2010. I mostly stuck to 2009 books. Regardless, 2011 can not get here fast enough! In the next few weeks expect a lot of awesome-sounding 2011 releases :)


  1. I had the honor of meeting Holly Thompson at the Asian Festival of Children's Content. (She's the RA of SCBWI-Japan.) I also can't wait to read this novel!

    And may I comment on the cover? It's obviously an Asian girl. I know an Asian face when I see one. Yes, even when it is only half the face. =D

  2. This does sound interesting, and I like the fact that the character is someone who is going to have to reflect on her role in contributing to someone's life being so miserable. Great pick.

  3. @Tarie-Doesn't it sound utterly fabulous? I'm probably more eager to read contemoray books coming out in 2011, it's going to be a good year. I'll go back and read your post about the festival.

    Haha no need to ask permission! I would agree that the girl on the cover is Asian. Yes!

    @Lauren-exactly! We usually only hear about people being bullied, not so much from people who do the bullying and how they feel about it.


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