Your browser is not supported. For the best experience, you should upgrade to a modern browser with improved speed and security.

While I Was Away

When twelve-year-old Waka’s parents suspect she can’t understand the basic Japanese they speak to her, they make a drastic decision to send her to Tokyo to live for several months with her strict grandmother. Forced to say goodbye to her friends and what would have been her summer vacation, Waka is plucked from her straight-A-student life in rural Kansas and flown across the globe, where she faces the culture shock of a lifetime.

In Japan, Waka struggles with reading and writing in kanji, doesn’t quite mesh with her complicated and distant Obaasama, and gets made fun of by the students in her Japanese public-school classes. Even though this is the country her parents came from, Waka has never felt more like an outsider. If she’s always been the “smart Japanese girl” in America but is now the “dumb foreigner” in Japan, where is home... and who will Waka be when she finds it? This empowering middle grade memoir from debut author Waka T. Brown takes readers on a journey to 1980s Japan — and into the mind of one girl caught between two cultures.

Current Price :

  • Featured
    $12.89
  • Lowest
    $8.89
Prices as of 04/22/24 05:31
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amightygirl.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Current Price (CAD):

  • Featured
    C$15.12
  • Lowest
    C$15.12
Prices as of 04/21/24 23:39
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amightygirl.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Current Price :

  • Featured
    £13.38
  • Lowest
    £12.99
Prices as of 04/21/24 17:37
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amightygirl.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Current Price (AUD):

  • Featured
    A$38.49
  • Lowest
    A$36.27
Prices as of 04/21/24 06:43
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amightygirl.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Where to Purchase:

What's this?

Support A Mighty Girl & Help Grow Mighty Girls!

It's easy to support A Mighty Girl's girl empowerment mission. Every time you purchase resources using the vendor buttons on our website, A Mighty Girl receives a small commission – all at no added cost to you. Thank you for helping us to provide these resources for everyone raising Mighty Girls!

Description

"Brown slowly begins to find her footing, including shared interests — Twix candy bars — with her brusque grandmother.... The text is peppered with Japanese words as well as hiragana, katakana, and kanji, for which Brown explains alphabet and character differences. This personal story offers readers a glimpse at Japanese and American cultural differences while stressing that what makes things different is also what makes them unique." — Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Recommended Age 10 - 13
Author Waka T. Brown
ISBN 0063017113
Publication Date Jan 26, 2021
Publisher Quill Tree Books
Language English