Author: Donwerth-Chikamatsu, Annie
In the aftermath of a major earthquake, eleven-year-old Maya overcomes her own fear to help others at home and in northeast Japan, where a tsunami caused great damage. Includes author's note about the facts behind the story.
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/20)
Booklist (+) (05/15/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 *Starred Review* Eleven-year-old Maya is a happy, confident, binational only child living near Tokyo with her Japanese father, grandmother, and great-grandfather and her American mother. Then the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastate northern Japan. Maya and her family are safe, but she changes overnight into a fearful child, constantly worried about those affected by the disaster, and wondering what will become of her own family when the predicted Big One (earthquake) hits Tokyo. Donwerth-Chikamatsu's novel in verse uses numerous graphics to excellent effect: military time entries in red next to Maya's stream-of-consciousness narrative establish her anxiety and racing thoughts, wavy fonts mimic the rolling of the earth, illustrative placement of different-sized text and punctuation marks turn text into pictures, and a sparingly used background of concentric circles calls to mind the ripple effects of the disaster and its effects on Maya. With the loving support of her family, the affection of a stray cat that adopts the family, and her own practice of folding 1,000 paper cranes, Maya regains her equilibrium and gradually finds ways to conquer her fear and anxiety in her actions to help others, in a moving yet believable conclusion. An essential read, especially for anxious tweens in these uncertain times, with a message of hope and community. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.