2016 Winner – Young Adult/Middle School Literature
Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Through the eyes of a young girl students can relate to the loneliness and fear of not-fitting in and not knowing the cultural cues encountered in entering a new school. Ema, the protagonist, is the daughter of an American mother and a Japanese father, living in Japan and happy with her home and friends. Her mother’s pregnancy necessitates that they live for a semester at her grandparents’ home, in suburban Tokyo, where Ema experiences more of Japanese culture while she navigates her way through it at home and school, and spends more time with her grandmother.