Same Sun Here

What kind of genre is necessary to demonstrate that two characters despite their differences in nationality and identity share some of the same celebrations The same concerns The same worries The

What kind of genre is necessary to demonstrate that two characters--despite their differences in nationality and identity--share some of the same celebrations? The same concerns? The same worries? The same sun? Epistolary, of course. 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 a character arc come through for each with room to grow on both sides and on the inside 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 ordinarily be handled in the narrative. It's masterful here, though, with each character playing "Did you know?" with the other. An interesting inclusion that might prompt discussion in MG/YA classrooms is a section from the U. S. Citizenship Test that Meena's parents are trying to pass as part of the story.Relationships between River and his grandmother and Meena and her older neighbor play out beautifully in the letters back and forth. River gets a chance to talk about mining and mountain top removal. Students interested in learning more about mountain top removal might like to read 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. As a teacher consultant with The National Writing Project, I have seen many fine, fine demonstration lessons using Mark Teague's DEAR MRS. LARUE as an anchor text/read-aloud into a demonstration of letter writing as a format or means of correspondence. Many times, I have seen MG/Secondary participants in the room wondering what using this book (very nice and funny) would look like with older students. What Silas House's newest title offers is a Writer's Workshop ready text for the Middle Grade and Secondary teacher to use.Further, introducing and sharing a book like SAME SUN HERE might bring up a sense of advocacy/agency for some young readers making this title a rigorous book for its potential affective properties.As a "wheelhouse title," SAME SUN here provides multiple opportunities to extend invitations to readers to consider related topics making this Candlewick title a nice match for the Common Core Standards being implemented by many states:Hindi CultureAppalachian Culture Mountain Top RemovalImmigration Law and U. S. CitizenshipDisasters Related to Miningand many, many more. I could see this title being stretched out over the course of a year with younger readers and writers hearing the story in installments which might allow for their own correspondence back and forth with River and Meena through a writing strategy called thought capture.Popular Same Sun Here Author Silas House Neela Vaswani are Kindle In this extraordinary novel in two voices, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner s son 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 immiIn this extraordinary novel in two voices, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner s son 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 son 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 honesty and humor, 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 value of being and having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.. Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of five novels Clay s Quilt, 2001 A Parchment of Leaves, 2003 The Coal Tattoo, 2005 Eli the Good, 2009 and Same Sun Here co authored with Neela Vaswani 2012 as well as a book of creative nonfiction Something s Rising, co authored with Jason Howard, 2009 and three plays The Hurting Part 2005 , This Is My Heart for You 2012 , and In These Fields, with Sam Gleaves, 2016 His work frequently appears in The New York Times and Salon He is former commentator for NPR s All Things Considered His writing has appeared in Oxford American, Narrative, Blackbird, Newsday, as well as in anthologies such as Best Food Writing, 2015 and New Stories From the South, The Year s Best 2004 House serves on the fiction faculty at the Spalding MFA in Creative Writing and as the NEH Chair at Berea College As a music writer House has worked for and with artists such as Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell, The Judds, Jim James, and many others He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates and is the winner of the Nautilus Award, an EB White Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Jesse Stuart Award, the Lee Smith Award, and many other honors.. Good Kindle Same Sun Here Pre-Review Thoughts: I have such a love/hate relationship with Netgalley. I love it because it’s an invaluable way for me, as a British blogger, to get access to books that aren’t published over here for months or, in some instances, at all. I hate it because it always seems that when a new book comes out it’s a fight to the death to get accepted for the popular, well publicised titles. But what I love most about Netgalley is finding books such as this one that I would probably never have found otherwise and absolutely adoring them. “Let’s say right now that we can tell each other our secrets and we won’t make fun of each other. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you sound weird, too. I am glad of it, because I can be my own true self with you.”“Sometimes you write things in your letters that I thought nobody had ever thought before, except for me.But then there it is in your letter.”Stuffed full of pictures, poems and drawings (which unfortunately weren’t shown in the ARC but will be in the hardback copy I’ll undoubtedly buy), this book tells a simple story. It’s not a particularly original one but it’s a beautiful one all the same. With Meena and River, Ms Vaswani and Mr House have created two of the most authentic children’s voices I have read. Their letters are full of their worries, their pain, their dreams but they are also full of rich humour that had made laughing and shattering my early nights.I know I always rabbit on about how much better most middle grade books are at dealing with serious issues honestly than most YA books but I’m just going to rabbit on a little bit more. Because Same Sun Here was no exception. The environment, tolerance, different cultures, family and politics (this book is set in 2008 around Obama’s inauguration) are but a few topics that are covered in great deal within the letters between Meena and River. There is such a sweet and true message hidden within these pages but there’s a difference between talking about an issue and clobbering you over the head with it. Fortunately, both Vaswani and House are well aware of this. This book is, in effect, a love letter to communication. I don’t know whether I connected with this book because, like Meena and River, my friendship circle is spread across not only the UK, but also across the world. Because of things like e-mail and Skype and Facebook, I can connect with someone on the opposite side of the world and send out separate e-mails to someone in Australia, someone in America and someone in Kent in the time it takes me to find a biro that works. Sure, e-mails make it possible to have a friendship that isn’t reliant on the Royal Mail, but there truly is nothing like getting a real letter is there?“The reason I’m not on the e-mail list is because I thought it’d be cooler to write letters to somebody, since I can write e-mails to anybody.”So true. I love the act of writing a handwritten letter because you can’t delete bits or change your mind before you send it. Well, I mean, you can use Tippex and stuff (do people still use Tippex for anything as opposed to writing their crushes names on their pencil cases?!) but once it’s on the paper it’s out in the world. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like there is something much more honest in hand-writing a letter. This isn’t that much of a spoiler but if you don’t want to know anything about the plot just skip the next paragraph.Towards the end of the book Meena and River decide to meet in New York and I genuinely felt sad because I thought that now they’ve met, they’d never send letters to each other again. But I, ever the optimist, would like to believe that they did and they sent each other long, scrawled letters to each other with about how much fun they had when they met up. I know I went a bit off topic up there, but this book has inspired to make the effort to write more letters to all my kindred spirits scattered across the globe. On real writing paper.And maybe written in fountain pen. [Ha…. This was supposed to be a “quick” review. Whoops]Recommended For.People who want to read a book about contemporary issues. People who wished they had a pen pal when they were in school. People who wish they could look out of their window and see mountains. People who will never get tired of their grandma’s stories. People who like to scream at the top of their lungs at passing trains. People who believe that kindred spirits are telepathic. People who can believe that S.E Hinton is a girl and that she wrote a book because girls can do anything. People who wish Kentucky was a shape better suited to cutting it out of toast. People who will join me in my pledge to write more letters. Some more quotes because I couldn’t narrow them down:“Since reading this book, everyone I pass on the street seems full of stories and dreams and a secret sadness.” (On “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by the by)“It seems like there are so many homesick people in the world. It seems like so many of us live far away from where we were born.”“They were all surprised that we are best friends but we haven’t ever met. Ms. Beldsoe said that’s what happens when you find a ‘kindred spirit’.”I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here.

About Author

  1. Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of five novels Clay s Quilt, 2001 A Parchment of Leaves, 2003 The Coal Tattoo, 2005 Eli the Good, 2009 and Same Sun Here co authored with Neela Vaswani 2012 as well as a book of creative nonfiction Something s Rising, co authored with Jason Howard, 2009 and three plays The Hurting Part 2005 , This Is My Heart for You 2012 , and In These Fields, with Sam Gleaves, 2016 His work frequently appears in The New York Times and Salon He is former commentator for NPR s All Things Considered His writing has appeared in Oxford American, Narrative, Blackbird, Newsday, as well as in anthologies such as Best Food Writing, 2015 and New Stories From the South, The Year s Best 2004 House serves on the fiction faculty at the Spalding MFA in Creative Writing and as the NEH Chair at Berea College As a music writer House has worked for and with artists such as Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell, The Judds, Jim James, and many others He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates and is the winner of the Nautilus Award, an EB White Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Jesse Stuart Award, the Lee Smith Award, and many other honors.

    Reply

Same Sun Here Comment

  1. Pre Review Thoughts I have such a love hate relationship with Netgalley I love it because it s an invaluable way for me, as a British blogger, to get access to books that aren t published over here for months or, in some instances, at all I hate it because it always seems that when a new book comes out it s a fight to the death to get accepted for the popular, well publicised titles But what I love most about Netgalley is finding books such as this one that I would probably never have found othe [...]


  2. What kind of genre is necessary to demonstrate that two characters despite their differences in nationality and identity share some of the same celebrations The same concerns The same worries The same sun Epistolary, of course 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 t [...]


  3. I m beginning to think that I don t just occasionally enjoy middle grade books, but I might legitimately love it as a genre I keep reading middle grade books or younger YA books that I think are the exception to the rule But not everything can be the exception.Same Sun Here is a delightful story, innocent and youthful Its the tale of two pen pals Meena was born in India but currently living in New York City River is from rural Eastern Kentucky Though the county is supposedly fictionalized, it s [...]


  4. This book was so special to me Growing up and raising my own family in Eastern Kentucky, it is incredibly refreshing and encouraging to read a work that paints us as many of us are multifaceted, empowered, passionate, and something much than hillbillies looking for handouts Silas House never fails to make me feel validated each and every time I read anything he writes This book is no different This is an epistolary novel, showcasing letters written between two twelve year olds that become pen p [...]


  5. Same Sun Here is a beautiful book told entirely in letters between two pen pals It deals with some heavy social justice themes, but does so without being too heavy handed This is one of those special books that hovers over the line between middle grade and young adult I highly recommend the audiobook Both authors narrate and Silas House has one of the most soothing voices I have ever listened to.


  6. Every once in a great while I find cause to pick up a book I know little to nothing about and am fortunate enough to be utterly charmed Same Sun Here was one of two Audie nominees for Middle Graders that I was unfamiliar with, and yet I am happy to see it in such good company For some inexplicable reason, I have shied away from doing epistolary novels via audio After listening to the absolute joy that was Same Sun Here, I m putting all epistolary reads in my TBR into my TBLT to be listened to pi [...]


  7. Reviewed by Jordan B Nielsen Recommended for Both boys and girls ages 10 and Up for discussion of racism, troubled family life and general maturity of themes The narrative is split between a male and female character making it relatable to either gender.One Word Summary Ebullient Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani is like a blast of air conditioning from an open door on a baking hot Manhattan day, at once refreshing, relieving, sweet and enlivening With easy, commanding authority the [...]


  8. Sweet and heartwarming while delivering several important messages Two twelve year olds bridge their very different worlds as pen pals Meena, an immigrant girl from India living in New York City, and River, the son of a coal miner in eastern Kentucky It s categorized as a middle school book but older teens and adults will like it as well I thoroughly enjoyed it.


  9. This is an adorable little epistolary novel, and a quick read 12 year old Meena, an Indian immigrant girl living in NYC, becomes pen pals with River, a boy from Kentucky I can t remember who recommended this little middle grade novel probably Book Riot but I m glad I picked it upr the 2017 Book Riot Read Harder Challengeread a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative


  10. From the publisher 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 girl living in New York City s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner s son 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 [...]


  11. Same Sun Here is an enjoyable book to read I felt like I was part of a long distance conversation between two middle schoolers The two children are pen pals one a girl named Meena, the other a boy named River Meena is originally from India, but is living in a rent controlled apartment in New York River is a boy who lives in Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains by mining country The children write back and forth each chapter is a new letter from one of them They occasionally email one another or [...]


  12. This was a nice book and everything, but I got crabby every time something political came up Unfortunately, that was quite often I m totally fine with lessons in social responsibility and being good to your neighbor or even references to specific historic political events, but it seemed to me that these authors had a clear political agenda Only one end of the political spectrum was ever mentioned and it was brougt up repeatedly and only in glowing terms I don t care what political party you belo [...]


  13. Beautifully written epistolary book told spot on in two voices Two kids with seemingly nothing in common discover throughout the course of a year that their sun is the same Reviews place this book in kids hands beginning in fourth grade, but I m not sure The shaving, the bit about a boy vs girl kissing, and a handful of colorful words are making me think otherwise I m searching for a handful of books that might lend themselves to rich discussion in lit circles As an aside, while I love how autho [...]


  14. This review also appears on my blog, Read at Home Mom.Like Dear Mr Henshaw and P.S Longer Letter Later, Same Sun Here is an epistolary novel set in 2008, which is told entirely in correspondence between two randomly assigned pen pals Meena, an Indian immigrant living in New York City, and River, who lives in Kentucky, where his father is a coal miner Though different in many ways, Meena and River find that living beneath the same sun gives them lots in common including their love for their grand [...]


  15. Silas House is one of my favorite authors This man can write I loved this YA story of two kids who become pen pals River and Meena have very different lives but they also discover they have a lot in common Just a lovely story Give it a read


  16. This is a beautifully written epistolary YA novel that sheds light on what it is like to be an immigrant AND what life is like for white middle America Mee Mee is an undocumented immigrant living illegally in a rent controlled Chinatown NYC apartment, and River is a Kentucky coal miner s son Through their brutally honest letters they pledge to be their own true selves with one another , they learn that they are not as different as they might first seem to be They both adore their grandmothers Ma [...]


  17. When New Yorker Meena and Kentucky boy River sign up for a pen pal program, they have no idea that they re each finding a kindred spirit Who would have thought that two 12 year olds from such different backgrounds could have so much in common Meena was born in India and moved to New York City to be with her family when she was nine River has lived in a tiny town in Eastern Kentucky his entire life As the two write letters back and forth, they discover that they share a love of mountains, they bo [...]


  18. The Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani is a novel that consists of letters between two middle school pen pals, River Dean Justice and Meena Joshi River is a boy living in the mountains of Kentucky while Meena is an immigrant from India living in Chinatown in New York While they come from very different backgrounds, they are able to become close friends through their writing.They each face their own kind of prejudice in their lives River for being from the Kentucky hills and Meena for [...]


  19. The first thing I noticed immediately was the voice and it isn t a Young Adult voice at all River and Meena are definitely Tweens A distictive voice is a common thread in the middle grade fiction that I m attracted to There s also a strong sense of place and time Both writers create their worlds through words in letters, an art that many of our middle grade students are losing to the brevity of text and email The contrast of the Appalachian rural and Indian urban worlds creates a wonderful place [...]



  20. A delightful little tale in accepting differences, this book follows the lives of two young teens and their hardships and celebrations I felt that it was a bit forced, and the characters too far fetched, with its attempt, and somewhat success, at fitting every alternative aspect of life in the few pages While I enjoyed it, I probably would not recommend it to students or adult friends, mainly for that reason.


  21. It s hard to imagine kids being pen pals these days but they both seem to enjoy exchanging lengthy letters with one another This story grew on me The main characters are interesting and the voices are unique The people in the girl s life are vividly realized There s lots in this story to discuss A good book for class or small group reading.


  22. Same Sun Here is a thought provoking novel that will lead to amazing discussions about the environment, immigrants, unlikely friendships, politics, and so much I m having a difficult time assigning it an interest level Maybe grades 6 and up Maybe grades 7 and up I think it really depends on the reader.


  23. To me it was okay I just didn t get into the plot very well, and I felt like the authors kept name dropping on popular titles, Hunger Games and Twilight, and it just didn t sit with me I also didn t always feel like the dialogue was very authentic for 13 year olds.


  24. The entire book is a series of letters between two twelve year olds who meet through a school pen pal program This book touches on a ton of issues political, environmental, social but never feels preachy.


  25. Many good things about this and I think kids will like it as the two cultures will be unfamiliar to many kids It felt a bit too purposeful to me with the author s hand too visible at times but I was engaged in the story and wanted to follow it through.


  26. Great epistolary novel set in Kentucky New York City with two 12 year olds writing each other about their very different and yet similar lives.Favorite quotes I cannot tell from your name if you are a boy or girl so I will just write to you like you are a human being Hug your neck




  27. My 9 year old and her classmates read this book for their reading class The premise sounded interesting and my daughter liked the book, so I wanted to read this The book is about 2 twelve year old kids one is an American boy living in Kentucky and the other is an Indian girls who lives in New York who write letters to each other about their lives, their common and not so common interests I am an Indian living in Kentucky which made the book all the intriguing to me.For the most part, the book w [...]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *