Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata

Book Summary

Jaden is eleven, and he has been adopted by American parents. He feels like an "epic fail" in all the ways that count, especially now that his parents want to go all the way to Kazakhstan to adopt a new - possibly better? - baby to add to the family. When they arrive, though, the baby they were promised is gone, and the family is pressured to select a new child in a short time frame.
Half a World Away book cover
Half a World Away

Book Review

This is a moving story that gives insight into the perspective of each of Jaden's parents, in addition to his own. He befriends a driver in Kazakhstan whose belief systems and values are offered in the role of a sage, which is a little contrived, but also something Jaden is desperately seeking. The story contains lots of pain and choices and exploration about love and how people treat each other within families.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Adoption; Adoption to America from families in Kazakhstan; Siblings dealing with Adoption
  • Growing Up; Defining Yourself; Independence
  • Family Relationships

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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