Leza Lowitz

Up From the Sea

Up From the Sea

(middle-grade to YA reading level - some middle-grade students will struggle with interpreting the text)

This is a unique take on trauma associated with a disaster. The main character, Kai, is literally swept up in a tsunami in Japan. Lowitz witnessed the tsunami firsthand and the urgency and fear are captured well through the poetic stanza format. Although this book mainly discussed the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, it connects to 9/11 because the main character ends up visiting Ground Zero during the tenth anniversary and meeting with his estranged father in NYC.

Although the poetry proves a quick read, students should have some knowledge or interests in Japanese culture. Otherwise, they will become confounded by the many references.

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