Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Category: young adult (Page 2 of 17)

The Last Cherry Blossom

The Last Cherry Blossom
by Kathleen Burkinshaw (Author)

Booktalk: Yuriko is happy growing up in Hiroshima when it’s just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden from its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and air raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the atomic bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

Snippet: I looked in the direction of my house. The outside frame was the only thing left standing. Every room seemed to have crumbled to the floor below. I recognized the two cement pilars where the iron gates had been, but the cement walls were reduced to ashes. My home was gone, as were all the other houses on the street, as far as I could see.

I would have time to grieve later. Now I needed to rescue my best friend.

“Machiko, I am out. Call to me. Tell me where you are!” I screamed. My entire body shook as if it were twenty degrees outside and I was without a winter coat. It was then that I realized that I was not the only one screaming. I heard people shouting at piles of rubble all the way down our street.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Road Signs That Say West

Road Signs That Say West
by Sylvia Gunnery (Author)

Booktalk: It’s Hanna’s wild idea, of course: take their mom’s car, pack up the tent, and drive across the country. Just three sisters, one guitar, and a coast-to-coast highway. They can be home again before their parents are back from Europe. She doesn’t say she wants to forget about what happened in Italy, and at university. Claire doesn’t say she keeps having nightmares about her friend’s recent suicide. Megan doesn’t say much, unless it’s a complaint. But maybe they all feel, somehow, that this is their one chance to do something together, something big, before time begins to scatter them.

Snippet: The security doors slide shut.

“There. That’s it,” says Hanna. “Mom and Dad are off on their trip of a lifetime.” She pulls the car keys out of her shorts pocket and jingles them like toy bells. “And so are we!” She turns and heads toward the exit.

Megan is right behind her. “What are you talking about?”

“So are we?” Claire stops scrolling through the pictures she’s taken.

“Listen,” says Hanna in that authoritative voice only the oldest sister could pull off, “a house is a house, not a person. It doesn’t need anyone to look after it.” She keeps walking toward the exit. “What are we supposed to do that the alarm system can’t?”

“We’re supposed to do exactly what Mom and Dad told us. House-sit while they’re in Europe.” As usual, Megan attempts to be the voice of reason. As usual, it comes across as sarcasm wrapped in a thin gauze of disdain.

“What trip, Hanna?” asks Claire.

“A road trip from sea to sea.” The automatic doors slide open and she walks out, “Atlantic to Pacific. Halifax to Vancouver.”

“Are you insane?” Megan’s voice is now up a few decibels. “Mom and Dad would never agree to this!”

“That’s why she didn’t ask,” said Claire.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book: Manga Classics
by Rudyard Kipling (Author), Crystal S. Chan (Adapter), and Julien Choy (Artist)

Booktalk: Originally published as a series of short stories for magazines in the late 1800s, the Nobel Prize-winning Rudyard Kipling would eventually publish the classic The Jungle Book in 1894. This manga adaptation brings Rudyard Kipling’s original collection of short stories to life . . .


Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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