I requested an ARC of Leza Lowitz’s Up from the Sea because it’s almost perfectly my thing–a verse novel dealing with real events and how they change our lives. I was excited to start it, I loved reading it, and I would have finished it MUCH sooner if my baby would only go back to sleeping through the night again. (Being up every night affects how quickly I do what has to be done, which cuts rather deeply into how much time I have left over to read. Sadness.) Nevertheless, I stayed up past midnight to finish it last night, and I wasn’t disappointed–it ended as well as it began.
Up from the Sea is narrated by Kai, a seventeen-year-old boy who loses his mother and his grandparents in the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck coastal Japan in March of 2011. As he struggles to cope with their loss, not to mention the loss of his home, many of his friends, and most of his teachers, he is invited to visit New York and meet with young people who lost their families on 9/11; while there, he reaches out to his American father for the first time since he left Japan. His first attempt is unsuccessful, but with time and effort, he is able to reconnect with not only his father, but with parts of himself that he abandoned after his father abandoned him. That connections brings healing for Kai, who in turn finds a way to help his community heal as well.
Here’s the awesome thing about this book. You like survivor stories? Check. Stories about overcoming adversity? Check. Stories about tragedy bringing people together? Check. Stories about father/son relationships? Check. Classic underdog sports stories? Check. What’s not to love?
It’s a good book, friends, and it comes out on Tuesday. Don’t miss it!