Results of the National Book Award in the year 1983.
Jean Fritz was born in China and lived there until 1927, when she was twelve. Young Jean had spent her entire life in China, but her parents’ memories of home and letters from relatives in Pennsylvania made her feel that she was American—and homesick for a place she’d never seen!
Family photographs and illustrations by Margot Tomes show us the real people behind Jean’s vivid and unforgettable stories—memories of picnics on the Great Wall, pranks, holidays in the foreign compound, rebellious moments at her British school. close ties to Chinese friends, and how it felt to be called a “foreign devil” and spat upon in the streets of a turbulent China on the eve of revolution. When her family embarks upon its long journey home, Jean is thrilled, but she wonders: When she arrives in America at last, will she fit in after growing up on “the wrong side of the world?”
She has grown up—Abyssinia Jackson has—under a vast Oklahoma sky shaded with pecan trees and dotted by endless rows of cotton. She has the gift of song, a storyteller’s talent, the love of her parents, and the affection and pride of her community.
Then a tornado hits and drives Abby’s family apart. A deranged neighbor targets her for a campaign of vengeful terror. And a physical assault all but breaks her will.
Shortly after her father’s death, Victoria and her mother move to a small village outside of Boston where she meets a wealthy teenage boy who teaches her a valuable but painful lesson about life.