Behind the Mountainsby Edwidge Danticat
In award-winning author Edwidge Danticat's first novel for young readers, it is election time in Haiti. Bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and Celiane Esperance and her mother are nearly killed, giving them a fresh resolve to join Celiane's father in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh winter and concrete landscape are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents' struggle to earn a living, her brother's uneasy adjustment to America, and her own encounters with learning difficulties and school violence.
Meet the Author
Edwidge Danticat was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, until she was twelve years old, when she moved to the United States to be reunited with her family. She published her first pieces of literary work just two years later. She has written many award-winning books, including BREATH, EYES, MEMORY, a member of Oprah's Book Club; KRIK? KRAK!, a National Book Award Nominee; THE FARMING OF BONES, an American Book Award Winner; and BROTHER, I'M DYING, a National Book Critics Circle winner. She is a 2009 winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant. Edwidge lives with her family in Miami, Florida.
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This is one of my favorite Edwidge Danticat books. I read this book when I was a young teen. Being Haitian American, I was not always proud being Haitian. This book changed that. I also became an instant Edwidge Danticat fan. I recommend this book to any young Haitian American girl. It gives a whole new outlook on the Haitian and Haitian American culture.
Behind the Mountains is Edwidge Danticat¿s endeavor into young adult fiction. Danticat, renowned for her adult works such as ¿The Farming of Bones,¿ ¿Krik? Krak!¿ and ¿Breath, Eyes, Memory,¿ is a Haitian-American author who writes with incredible beauty and poise. While Behind the Mountains is not as enchanting as her other works, it is an important story of a young girl, Celiane, growing up in present-day Haiti. The political unrest in her nation leads her family to be split apart, and eventually, Celiane moves to America. This novel, told in journal-entry form, chronicles her feelings and experiences during this tumultuous time. The history of Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, is incredibly violent and devastating, and you may have to be prepared to explain this to young readers during their reading of the book (read ¿The Farming of Bones¿ for a more detailed account). It is an excellent and appropriate book for children as young as fifth grade. Celiane is a relatable character and the story is quite moving. Danticat is one of my favorite authors, and I highly recommend this as well as her other books.