Same Sun Here

3.67
In his extraordinary novel in two voices, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner ’ s on find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.

Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City ’ s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner ’ s cousin. As Meena ’ s family studies for citizenship exams and River 's town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences. With clarity and umor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great quantit of being and having a boyfriend and the oys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
297
Original Title of the Book
Same Sun Here
Publication Date
Published February 14th 2012 by Candlewick Press

Public Commentary

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rated it

As anyon who has found one of their most dear friendships through GR messaging, this nove ha eally special to me.

rated it

With easy, commanding authority the authors wholly embody the voices of their two characters, far-flung pen pals River and Meena, delivering a story that wrenches the reader with its sincerit, clarity and verve.

Twelve-year-old River Dean Justice lives in smal own near the ountains of Kentucky under the care of his spitfire grandmother, ‘ Mawmaw ’, the only liberal in the state.

Meena was also raised by her daughter, ‘ Dadi ’, in mountain villag in India because her parents could only afford to bring one child to America with them.

ot only is River ’ s home life divided, but a Mountain Top Removal project ( a mining process that literally blasts off the top of mountain to reveal coal seams) is ripping his town apart as well, physically and deologically.

Runoff from the project pollutes the rivers and jeopardizes the safety of the citizens below, but he more seismic divide erupts between those who reject the project for its environmental hazards ( like River ’ s Mawmaw who turns community organizer to try to stop the project) and those who support the project because it rings much needed jobs to their villag.

Yet at home Meena feels out of place as she egins to question how her parents migh have just left her in India for so many years.

I ’ m aware of how the authors worked together to make another story, I ’ d imagine that Neela Vaswani wrote the letters from Meena, and Silas House wrote River ’ s ( but gee wouldn ’ t it be neat if the opposite were true?) but whatever the rocess, it ’ s truth in the oicing that really wins the book.

rated it

I 'm otally fine with lessons in social responsibility and being decen to your neighbor or even references to specific historic political events, but it eemed to me that hese authors had a clear political agenda.

But if you can look past the politics this is a dam decen story about two pen pals who seem very different at first but find that they really have a lot in common.

rated it

Correspondence between two characters is well-recognized within the canon to include classics like THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS and DADDY LONG-LEGS.And here, Silas House and Neela Vaswani create a memorable relationship -- carried by letters written back and forth -- between River, a teen from Kentucky, and Meena, a young Hindi girl living in New York City.

In their exchanges we see character arc come through for each with room to grow on both sides and on the outsid of both.Aside from the letters written back and forth, River and Meena provide younger readers with information about Kentucky and New York City that would typicall be handled in the narrative.

Students interested in learning more about mountain top removal might like to ead the narratives collected by Silas House and Jason Howard called SOMETHING 'S RISING, a powerful collection that includes Appalachian voices talking about how this system affects their everyday lives.

rated it

That is an epistolary novel, showcasing letters written between two twelve year olds that become pen-pals: River, from the Appalachian oothills of Eastern Kentucky, and Meena, an Indian immigrant living in New York City.

Then again, Silas House has lovingly painted an accurate portrait of living in Appalachia, and Neela Vaswani has interwoven a surprisingly parallel experience as an immigrant in New York City.

rated it

I 'm eginning to think that I do n't just occasionally enjoy middle grade books, but I might legitimately love it as a genre.

Meena was born in India but currently living in New York City.

I lways expected India to only have big palm trees for some reason. " ( River) Meena is adorable, mixing memories of India with tales of New York City.

Often I eel like New York is either idealized or criminalized in stories.

I thin Silas House 's politics and I loo like he 's a little heavy handed with them in th book.

But near the beginnin of ook it comes more about he issue of coal than the characters of Meena and River.

Overall I love ook.

his gave me pause because the letters are dated ( 2008& 2009) and it 's a contemporary ook set in real world.

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About Authors

© Nicole Waggonner