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In the Shadow of Blackbirds
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Timothy Egan

Same Sun Here

Same Sun Here - Silas House, Neela Vaswani An epistolary novel between a young Kentucky boy River Justice and an immigrant girl from India living in New York City. They come together as pen pals and discover each other's world, in all their differences and similarities. The novel showcases the injustices endured by those who have less power than most to influence their circumstances, but how nevertheless there is a means to effect change in the world.A good example of how writing letters advances thought processing and communication skills. An unusual pairing of characters and of cultures, American and immigrant, Appalachian and Indian, which creates a tableau for examining a variety of interests and of complex family circumstances. By forging a long distance friendship, these two characters process and explain their lives to each other and increase the opportunity for the reader to empathize and understand the distinguishing experiences of others their age in environments different from their own.Unusual in a book for this age group is the forthright manner of discussing political challenges to the environment such as mountain top removal, a cause championed by co-author Silas House, side by side with rent control issues faced in many neighborhoods in New York City and elsewhere.The book production includes illustrations and photographs sprinkled throughout and a trim-size suitable for readers ready for a book well beyond the level of chapter books but not yet ready for sophisticated young adult reading.