While I Was Away

While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown
Waka T. Brown
Oct 6, 2021

The main character, Waka, is a straight-A student from Kansas who is sent to Tokyo for five months to focus on her Kanji, when her parents suspect she can’t read nor write basic Japanese. She is forced to live with her strict grandmother, and has to say goodbye to her friends for the summer. While she’s in Japan, Waka gets made fun of by her classmates and struggles to make true friends.

I think this is an entertaining book about a girl who is pulled between two different yet unique cultures. The most compelling aspect in this book is the affection that grows between Waka and her grandmother, and how Waka faces challenges that come her way. I would recommend this book to people who like learning about different cultures. I liked this book and would give it 3 stars out of 5.

Written by
Likhita A.


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