Quill Tree Books While I Was Away
Quill Tree Books While I Was Away

While I Was Away

By Waka T. Brown

$7.99

Publication Date: December 21, 2021

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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7

Blackbird Fly meets The Farewell in this empowering middle grade memoir from author Waka T. Brown, who takes readers on a journey to Japan, where she was sent as a child in the 1980s to reconnect to her family’s roots.

When twelve-year-old Waka’s parents suspect she can’t understand basic Japanese, they make the drastic decision to send her to Tokyo to live for several months with her strict grandmother. Forced to say goodbye to her friends and what would have been her summer vacation, Waka is plucked from her straight-A-student life in rural Kansas and flown across the globe, where she faces the culture shock of a lifetime.In Japan, Waka struggles with reading and writing in kanji, doesn’t quite mesh with her complicated and distant Obaasama, and gets made fun of by the students in her Japanese public-school classes. Even though this is the country her parents came from, Waka has never felt more like an outsider.If she’s always been the “smart Japanese girl” in America but is now the “dumb foreigner” in Japan, where is home? And who will Waka be when she finds it?

About the Author

Waka T. Brown was the first American born in her family. She is a Stanford graduate with a Masters in Secondary Education. She’s currently an instructor at the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), authoring curriculum on several international topics, and winning the Association for Asian Studies’ national Franklin Buchanan Prize. She’s also been awarded the U.S.-Japan Foundation and EngageAsia’s national 2019 Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher award for her groundbreaking endeavors in teaching about U.S.-Japan relations to high school students in Japan and promoting cultural exchange awareness. While I Was Away is her debut memoir for young readers, and is followed by her first novel Dream, Annie, Dream. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.

Format: Paperback

Length: 336 pages

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Publication Date: December 21, 2021

ISBN: 9780063017122

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