Orchards

Orchards

When a classmate commits suicide due to bullying, Kana Goldberg -- half Japanese, half Jewish American-- is sent to spend the summer in her mother’s homeland of Japan to reflect on the actions her and her cliquish classmates might have played that led Ruth’s suicide. While there, Kana spends countless hours in the hot sun helping care for the family’s Mikan orange grove. Kana’s mixed heritage makes it hard for her to fit in and her critical Japanese grandmother doesn’t make it any easier. As the summer progresses, Kana gets to know her relatives, Japan and the culture. She also begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about her actions and the tragedy it led to back home. When more bad news reaches Kana before her return trip back home, she must make grown-up decisions soon and attempt to change the wrongs and make them right.

Recommended by Tammy Reed, Librarian, Texas

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