Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani
Published by Candlewick Press
Pages: 288
Ages: 10 and up
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository
Publishers Summary:

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.
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.

Two worlds apart, Meena and River couldn’t be more different. One a city girl and the other a country boy, but both destined to make difference in the lives of those around them. Through words written on pages to one another they soon discover their similarities, the ways they can learn from one another and most importantly the friendship that binds them together. Same Sun Here is a story of friendship, both because of similarities and despite differences.

What’s not to love about the story of two pen pals from two very different parts of the US writing to one another and slowly building the bonds of a life-long friendship? This story crafted by two very talented authors, Silas House and Neela Vaswani, was a wonderful journey and one I’d love to see continued. In fact, it was one of those rare books I find myself turning the last page and saying to myself, “I could keep reading for hours”. I credit this not only to excellent writing, but also the informal way the characters interact. Letter writing is one of those things I absolutely love doing and reading hand written letters is something I treasure. So obviously the friendship that’s built between Meena and River is one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Beyond my initial enjoyment of the style the Same Sun Here was written in I was also incredibly impressed with the issues the story addresses. Having traveled and lived in a variety of places across the US I can easily see how someone growing up in New York and another in Kentucky would have a number of differences despite any shared interests they may have. None of these differences are bad of course, but it’s how you approach the differences in others that stands out. It’s a wonderful talking point for anyone really, but it would be very beneficial for children and especially in classrooms. In many instances Meena and River’s differences could have driven them apart, but they choose their friendship over their pride. Things like the way they talk, the food they eat and much more. Instead they both forgive each other for their missteps, learn something new from the experience and then focus on their similarities. Even adults could learn much from the maturity between these two wonderful teens.

There’s so much more to be discussed about what I loved within the pages of Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani, but I’d rather encourage you to pick up the book yourself. Meena and River came to life for me through their letters to one another and in many ways taught me lessons about friendship and forgiveness. River’s character and his determination to do the right thing in the face of an incredibly formidable opponent (the mountaintop removal company) was my favorite aspect of the story. A close second was the friendship formed between Meena and River. Their instant love, friendship and subsequent forgiveness was inspiring. Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani is not only a book for teens and children, but a book for all ages. Who couldn’t stand to learn more about the power of forgiveness, friendship and love despite and sometimes because of our differences?

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 10 and up. A powerful story of two friends from two different walks of life forming bonds that will last a lifetime. This would be the perfect book for a book club or classroom discussion!

Same Sun Here Discussion Guide (PDF file)

Find Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

6 Responses to Book Review: Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

  1. Sounds awesome. And since I’m a new KY girl, like something I should check out.

  2. Gina says:

    Love the sound of it….especially the writing style! Letters? How cute…and really, so much can be gleaned from simple conversations passed back and forth over time not only about life in general but about each other. Great post Danielle! Thanks for sharing…. ^_^

  3. Em says:

    It looks like a great book. 🙂

Leave a Reply

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