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Beyond Me ➳ Beyond Me Read ➻ Author Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk In the spirit of A Place to Belong this remarkable novel in verse examines the aftershocks of the earthuake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011 through the eyes of a young girl who learns that e In the spirit of A Place to Belong this remarkable novel in verse examines the aftershocks of the earthuake and tsunami that devastated Japan in through the eyes of a young girl who learns that even the smallest kindness can make a differenceMarch An earthuake shakes Japan to its core A tsunami crashes into Japan’s coast Everything changes In the aftermath of the natural disasters that have struck her country eleven year old Maya is luckier than many Her family didn’t lose their home their lives or each other But Maya still can’t help feeling paralyzed with terror and each aftershock that ripples out in the days that follow makes her fear all over again that her luck could change in an instant As word of the devastation elsewhere grows increasingly grim—tens of thousands have perished—it all seems so huge so irreparable Already flinching at every rumble from the earth Maya’s overcome with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness How can her country ever recover and how could anything she does possibly make a difference Before Maya can extend a hand to others she must dig deep to find the hidden well of strength in herself in this sweeping searing novel that shows even small acts can add something greater and help people and communities heal.

10 thoughts on “Beyond Me

  1. Lesley Lesley says:

    On March 11 2011 a magnitude 9 earthuake the strongest earthuake in Japan’s recorded history shook northeastern Japan unleashing a savage tsunami More than 5000 aftershocks hit Japan in the year after the earthuake The tsunami caused the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant resulting in the release of radioactive materials LiveSciencecom and National Geographicorg Beyond Me is one story of this tragedy Fifth grader Maya lives in Japan with her American mother and Japanese father grandmother and great grandfather On March 9 2011 at the end of their school year her class feels an earthuake different from earthuakes they have experienced before On March 11th at 744am the “earth shudders” Beginning at 246pm an earthuake struck the eastern coast “so strong it pushed Japan’s main island eastward created a massive tsunami and slashed the eastern coastline in size” 89 And even though Maya’s family lives miles from the tsunami they are affected and Maya is terrified She chronicles the 24 days after the earthuake sometimes minute by minute as she shares her thoughts and feelings over what is happening in her house her town and through the news the people of Northeast Japan The house shakes food is rationed and transportation has stopped but she and her family are safeReaders see Maya overcome her fears and reach out with her mother and father to help those most affected by the disaster She and Yuka fold paper cranes and ask for sunflowers seeds to plant and Maya writes notes to the “People of the Northeast” Maya continues journaling for 113 days after she and her best friend plant sunflower seeds on her grandparents’ farm strengthening and helping to heal Earth as the mug she put back together with lacuer and gold dustThrough free verse timelines and creative word placements readers take this journey with Maya as they learn a lot about nature and the effects of earthuakes This book would pair nicely with Leza Lowitz’s Up from the Sea a verse novel that focuses on the story of one town and one boy directly affected by the tsunami

  2. Kristy Kristy says:

    I just got an arc of this book Wonderful novel in verse My 10 year old loved it too I may even by it for my high school library collection

  3. Nessa Nessa says:

    Will Earth stop shaking? Will radiation ever go away? These are some of the scary and thoughtful uestions the main character Maya asks in this nicely written prose book It is set during The Great East Japan Earthuake and Tsunami on March 11 2011 Maya lives with her parents grandma and great grandfather They experience the first big earthuake and the aftershocks to comes in the next few months Maya writes to us daily in her journal when a uake or aftershock happens She marks each one with a timestamp as she rocks and sways with the earth As our main characters struggle to become stronger to help others her father tells her to strengthen herself This stays with her and she finds ways of concurring her fear She begins by farming with her great grandfather Follow Maya on her beautiful growth during an uncertain and difficult time

  4. Ellen Ellen says:

    I thought this was a very well written book in verse I liked the formatting especially where every aftershock felt after the 2011 earthuake in Japan is marked in a timeline on the sides of the pages so you can almost feel the shocks as the character speaks If you've ever experienced a strong earthuake you can definitely understand all the feelings the character goes through It wasn't as exciting a book as I had imagined it would be considering the topic because the characters are a bit outside the main impact zone Still the book represents less the feelings of those suffering the most and those dealing with the stress and fear after disasters like this one

  5. Kip Kip says:

    What a beautiful book Such a stressful time to live in Japan for a child The timeline counting minutes at times and the formatting of the text really bring the situation to life for the reader and the verse is just lovely My twelve year old and I both loved it

  6. Megan Henriksen Megan Henriksen says:


  7. Judith Judith says:

    4th5th grade and up

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