Download Same Sun Here Audiobook

Same Sun Here Audiobook, by Silas House Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Neela Vaswani, Silas House Narrator: Silas House, Neela Vaswani Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781455822348
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (586 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences. With honesty and humor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great value of being and having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of the 2013 Audie Award for Children's Titles for Ages 8-12

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/20/2014

    " "I like that library books have secret lives. All those hands that have held them. All those eyes that have read them." Meena pg. 87 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy | 2/16/2014

    " The two voices of Meena and River are convincingly real. What was impressive to me was the beauty of the secret lives of students. As a teacher I see only the school side of most students. I found the book refreshing and enjoyable. I would recommend it to any person whose interests lie outside of the ordinary. The depiction of the sanguine attitude of Mark, who loses a leg, seems a bit unreal, but otherwise the characters are well-played. The format will be sure to capture many readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 2/10/2014

    " On the surface of this story, told through letters from the two main characters to one another, Meena and River might seem to have little in common. After all, Meena is an Indian immigrant girl who lives in Chinatown in New York City while River is the son on a Kentucky coal miner. From a school assignment requiring students to write their pen pals, the two get to know each other well and become friends, sharing secrets and dispelling assumptions each has about the other. Their voices are unique since there is one author for Meena and one for River. Meena's letters are filled with her own musings on city life as well as questions for River. River is more reticent, but he, too, is curious about the world outside his own small town. The questions the two have about each other's cultures are answered in a straight forward fashion with no resentment; rather, the two want to satisfy the other one's curiosity. Clearly, there are many issues in the lives of each youngster, and even the threat to the mountains where River lives is something that becomes important to Meena as well. Although there are quite a few coincidences near the end of the book, I still enjoyed watching the friendship form right in front of my eyes. I also liked the ink-and-pencil illustrations that occasionally appear in Meena's letters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Withani | 2/10/2014

    " Reading this book I felt a bit like I was reading my kids' mail - and I could only hope that our young people are as intelligent and well-spoken as Meena and River, the correspondents in the story. Unaware that even they can make a difference in their world, they do just that, encouraging, in an unpretentious way, readers to do the same. I'd highly recommend this book to any middle school teacher. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Naia | 2/7/2014

    " This is definitely one of my top five books ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 2/5/2014

    " Loved this slow moving friendship story of pen pals in Kentucky and New York who had so little in common but became such good friends in the process of learning about each other's lives, families, and cultures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irene | 1/28/2014

    " I'm a huge fan of epistolary novels, and this one manages to be current by including photos and some email interactions. Silas House's unmistakeable Kentucky voice is present in River's letters, and I enjoyed the very natural interaction between River and Meena's characters. This is the second novel I've read this year that involves kids and activism (the first was LIONS OF LITTLE ROCK by Kristin Levine), and it manages to do so without ever being preachy. There's room for all types of folk in these pages, and found it a refreshing, simple and meaningful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/22/2014

    " In 2008, two kids become pen pals through a school program. Meena is a new immigrant to NYC from India; her parents and older brother came over first, then it took them six years to raise enough money to bring over Meena, who in the meantime was living in the mountains with her grandmother. They live (illegally) in a rent-controlled apartment in Chinatown, where the landlord is trying his hardest to make all the tenants so uncomfortable they will leave so he can sell the apartments to the highest bidder. River lives in Kentucky with his depressed mother and his lively, progressive grandmother--his father, along with many other miners, could no longer make a living and had to leave town to find jobs. River loves living in the mountains, until mountaintop removal coal mining threatens his woods, his mountains, his creek, his community, and his friends and family. As these two different kids write to each other about their experiences, they come to regard each other as best friends (despite a few fights). This is a wonderful book, with interesting and unusual viewpoints. I really liked how the two voices came through so clearly, and how they didn't always get along. River was sometimes unintentionally racist, and got grossed out with any mention of hair (as in leg-shaving) or making out. Meena is pretty verbose and doesn't stop to think that perhaps she doesn't need to let River know every detail of her life, particularly after he's said he's not comfortable with certain subjects. They seem like real kids, and if there's a certain amount of didacticism about the abuse of rent-control tenants and mountaintop removal coal mining, it's handled well and these are subjects that most kids probably won't hear about in other books. What I liked best were the lovely descriptions of the mountains, both River's, and the ones Meena left behind in India. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 1/18/2014

    " Wow! Really great book and different plot. A little didactic and it sometimes seemed like a campaign front for Obama, but overall a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tisha | 12/19/2013

    " Loved this book! As improbable as it seems, the pen pal friendship between Meena, from India, and River, from Kentucky, blossoms and gives us many beautiful insights into family, friendship, beauty, ugliness, and all kinds of everyday things. A joy to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 11/30/2013

    " I thought this was a great book for teens, but it ended abruptly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mrs. | 10/15/2013

    " Audio is awesome! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 10/1/2013

    " Another one from the short list of Newberry predictions. I really liked this book, and was sad to see it end. I loved the way the story was told in letters between the main characters. I would recommend this one, but my first Newberry pick is still Wonder. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malissa | 7/29/2013

    " Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. I didn't connect with the characters and some of their writing wasn't true to their age. Interesting issues were included. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 4/22/2013

    " A really nice middle years book. Would be great to accompany the Manitoba Grade 7 social studies curriculum. There are a ton of nice tie-ins about social activism, globalization, immigration, and what we all have in common around the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 6/7/2012

    " I loved this book - it is slightly younger YA than I normally read (12-13 year old main characters) and is entirely made up of the sweet correspondence between two pen pals who agree to be "their true selves" when writing to one another. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kyla | 5/21/2012

    " Read this on behalf of a 3rd grade teacher looking for a read-aloud - put on the Dud pile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 2/22/2012

    " Such a neat writing style of two very different people finding commonalities hundreds of miles apart. "

About the Author

Silas House is the author of several novels, including A Parchment of Leaves. He is a winner of the E. B. White Award, the Nautilus Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Hobson Medal for Literature, and other honors. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and a former commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

About the Narrator

Neela Vaswani is the award-winning author of You Have Given Me a Country and Where the Long Grass Bends. Her work has received an American Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, and a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award. She teaches at Spalding University’s MFA in writing program and is the founder of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.