Authors: Holly Thompson
Also by Holly Thompson
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright © 2013 by Holly Thompson
Front jacket photograph copyright © 2013 by Mark Owen/Trevillion Images
Back jacket and chapter opener photograph copyright © 2013 by Jules Kitano
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The language inside / Holly Thompson. — 1st ed.
Summary: Raised in Japan, American-born tenth-grader Emma is disconcerted by a move to Massachusetts for her mother’s breast cancer treatment, because half of Emma’s heart remains with her friends recovering from the tsunami.
eBook ISBN 978-0-375-89835-8 — Trade ISBN 978-0-385-73980-1
Hardcover ISBN 978-0-385-73979-5
[1. Novels in verse. 2. Moving, Household—Fiction. 3. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 4. Breast cancer—Fiction. 5. Family life—Massachusetts—Fiction. 6. Tsunamis—Fiction. 7. Massachusetts—Fiction. 8. Japan—Fiction.] I. Title.
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For Bob, Dexter and especially Isabel
third time it happens
I’m crossing the bridge
over a brown-green race of water
that slides through town
on my way to a long-term care center
to start volunteering
to get my courage up
peering over a rail
below the river’s surface . . .
but when I look up
the sign is halved—
one side blank
the other saying
I glance back at the water
that my grandma YiaYia says used to
power this town’s mills
which are now closed or reborn
as outlet malls, doctors’ offices
dance and art studios, clinics
and care centers like the one
I’m headed to
to work with a woman
who can’t move her legs
and can’t even talk