At first glance, one wouldn't think Meena and River have anything in common at all. He lives in Kentucky, with a coal miner for a father, and Meena lives in New York City, both of her parents being immigrants of India. The pair become pen pals and what starts off as an unlikely friendship blossoms into something unique and completely awesome.
Meena and River, through their letters, help each other through some rough stuff...stuff that kids today often have to experience. Citizenship exams, the death of a family member, not being sure where they're going to live at the end each month, prejudice, etc. They felt like incredibly real kids, which I'm sure readers will really appreciate.
I think the letter-writing format definitely worked brilliantly when dealing with such difficult topics, but not wanting the story to end up being super-heavy. I also really liked that Meena and River don't always agree and actually argue at times, again, keeping everything realistic.
A great book for a classroom read aloud!
Same Sun Here
Silas House and Neela Vaswani