In a Japanese seaside neighborhood lives Jason Parker:
a sixth grader
one year older than his classmates
a stinking foreigner to some classmates
an orange belt in aikido
a big brother
Jason Parker is just a boy trying to get through his days with calm and courage. If only everyone around him would let him.
This is a beautifully spare novel in verse about one boy's life--a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to fit in.
"To survive, Jason must rely on his own ability to listen to others, his powers of quiet observation, and, above all, his personal courage. Based on Thompson’s own family experiences living in Japan, the story rings true in every detail, and occasional, lovely brush-and-ink illustrations enhance the reader’s experience." —Booklist onFalling into the Dragon's Mouth
". . . the tension mounts between Jason and the bullies who torment him, leading to a heart-pounding climax when the games almost go too far. The free-verse format suits the story well, conveying Jason’s emotions powerfully in few words, allowing readers to fill in the unsaid and mirroring the way Jason uses stoicism as a survival method at school. . . . This stirring read will especially resonate with those who have been bullied." —School Library Journal onFalling into the Dragon's Mouth
"Thompson captures perfectly the feeling of belonging elsewhere. A sensitive and compelling read that will inspire teens to contemplate how they can make a difference." -School Library Journal,starred reviewonThe Language Inside
"Thompson nimbly braids political tragedy, natural disaster, PTSD, connections among families, and a cautious, quiet romance into an elegant whole. This is an artistic picture of devastation, fragility, bonds and choices." -Kirkus ReviewsonThe Language Inside
"The narrative is rich in authentic cultural detail . . . Thompson has crafted an exquisite, thought-provoking story of grief and healing that will resonate with teen readers and give them much to discuss." -School Library Journal,starred reviewonOrchards
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