Monday, July 29, 2013

Orchards by Holly Thompson

Kana is sent to Japan after the suicide of a fellow 8th grader who was bullied by Kana and her friends.  She learns to work the orchards with her family and begins to understand that doing nothing when you should really be doing something can be just as harmful to people.

My Impressions
** SPOILER ALERT ** I had a hard time getting into this book because the style of poetry she used had very little punctuation. I always tell my students to read until the punctuation tells you to stop. This would have been bad advice with this book. It just seemed very halting in the flow of words.

Having said that, I did enjoy this book. The part of the story about her moving to Japan to find a way to deal with the suicide of one of her classmates was a little boring, but I loved the way she kept reflecting on the death of the girl by talking to her in her story.

Suicide is such a tough topic. This book uses such rich wording to bring the topic front and center. At the end, when the girl who thinks she caused the suicide from the beginning of the book decides to take her own life, it just sends home the message even more. Suicide is an epidemic and we need to openly talk about it. This book gives us a platform to do just that.

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