Review: Half a World Away


Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata

7 word summary: Jaden’s adopted…why’re his parents adopting again?

Realistic fiction.  Stand-alone novel.  Share with ages 9-13.

Newbery medalist and National Book Award winning author Kadohata serves up a realistic story that hasn’t been told before.  Jaden, a handful at best, is travelling with his adoptive parents to Kazakhstan to adopt another child, a baby.  Thinking it’s because they don’t love him due to his difficult behaviors – which include setting stuffed animals on fire and repeated lying – he’s convinced they will abandon him and love the baby more.  Halfway around the world, the adoption hits a major snag, and it’s at the orphanage that Jaden connects with another human on a deeply profound level for the first time in his life.  An honest portrayal of the challenges of adoption from both a child and adult perspective with an almost too-neat ending.

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