Falling into the Dragon's Mouth by Holly Thompson
I'm a huge fan of verse novels. They don't pop up often enough for my tastes, especially for a middle grade audience like this one. The verse style really suits this story. Jason is a fish out of water. Sure he's lived in Japan for three years. That doesn't mean he fits in. He doesn't always have the words to express himself. In school, this is a literal lack of vocabulary. He doesn't always know the Japanese to express himself. And like many preteens, he can't always express his emotions effectively. He's also hindered by a desire to fit in. He can't turn in his bullies because, in the culture of middle school, he can't be a snitch and risk losing the few friends he has. Now, the verse style can be a little distancing, especially in action scenes, but overall I think this book is a great choice.
Pages in this book: 352
Pages read so far in challenge: 1904