While I Was Away
Published: 2022 by Quill Tree Books
Level: Middle Years (6-9)
12 yr old Waka’s parents are sending her to Japan to live with her strict grandmother for several months, to get better at her Japanese – both written and oral, and to reconnect with their family’s culture. While in America, Waka is a straight A student, the smart Japanese girl. In Japan, she’s struggling, the dumb foreigner - feeling like an outsider in both countries – will she find where home is, and who she is?