“Half a World Away”

by

fpo   Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata tells the story of adopted 11 year-old Jaden whose family is about to adopt a baby from Kazakstan.  Jaden is still afraid to love anyone and holds on to his feelings of abandonment by hoarding food and other behavior issues.  He is scared of what a new baby in the family will mean.  Are they going to love him more than me?  When Jaden and his parents travel to Kazakstan, they are introduced to a baby and are given bonding time before they can travel home with him.  Jaden’s difficulty in allowing himself to be close to his parents and fears of a new brother are realistic and heartbreaking. You just want him to give in to being loved.  The adoption process seems authentic and the foreign setting believable- so much so that I  wonder if the book has more appeal for grown-ups than a middle-school aged child.  I enjoyed the story and was caught up in Jaden’s world of learning to become part of a family.

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