Open Your Eyes: Extraordinary Experiences in Faraway Places
Open Your Eyes: Extraordinary Experiences in Faraway Places

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Annotation: Collection of memoirs and stories about a variety of travel experiences that changed the lives of such well-known writers as Lois Lowry, Suzie Morgenstern, and Harry Mazer.
Genre: Geography
Catalog Number: #224204
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition Date: 2003
Pages: 201 pages
Availability: Indefinitely Out of Stock
ISBN: Publisher: 0-670-03616-1 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-3135-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-670-03616-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-3135-0
Dewey: 910.4
LCCN: 2003010100
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This unusual anthology spotlights 10 people whose lives were changed by living or traveling abroad during their youth. Editor Davis introduces the volume with a vivid memoir of her own experiences in France and follows up each of the main selections with a two-page introduction to the writer. The contributors range from Lois Lowry and Elizabeth Partridge to Graham Salisbury and Jean Fritz. The ages of the travelers and the adventures they describe vary greatly: Henry Mazer's experiences as an 18-year-old gunner shot down over Czechoslovakia during World War II; Lowry's encounters as an 11-year-old communicating with Japanese neighbors without a common language. Probably the most memorable entry is Piper Dellums' story of a bigoted South African exchange student who is stunned and distressed to realize that her host family in Washington, D.C., is African American. Though not every piece is excellent, the overall quality is uncommonly high. The best contributions are riveting, and the voices, vivid and distinctive. At least one black-and-white photo accompanies each selection. A fine collection of memoirs to read, savor, and share.
Horn Book
A collection of memoirs and stories that relate the eye-opening, mind-bending effects of travel. Entertaining and thought-provoking, these tales demonstrate the advantages of leaving one's comfort zone and stretching one's mental and physical boundaries. Contributors include M. T. Anderson, Lois Lowry, Harry Mazer, and Katherine Paterson.
Publishers Weekly

Ten notable authors recreate memorable moments of their youthful travels in this thought-provoking collection of essays, letters and stories. Some selections take place on native soil: Elizabeth Partridge's "Looking for America," for example, traces her road trip to the segregated South, and Piper Dellums, the daughter of a U.S. congressman, describes hosting a white South African girl assigned to her African-American family as part of a foreign-exchange program in 1977. Without exception, these intimate first-person narratives successfully evoke the awe, thrill or terror of experiencing a different culture. Acting bolder than her mother about exploring the streets of Tokyo in the years after WWII, an 11-year-old Lois Lowry risks entering a stranger's house and learns that kindness can exist in "enemy" territory. Taking the persona of her daughter in "Little Mom, Big French Suitcase," Susie Morgenstern shows what it's like to grow up in France with an outspoken American mother. M.T. Anderson, identified as a "nerd," goes to boarding school in England because he is "tired of who I had to be in America.... [England], I thought, is a land where eccentricity thrives.... It is a realm, I thought, a realm." Kathleen Krull conducts a Q&A session with her 19-year-old stepdaughter, collecting nuts-and-bolts advice on backpacking through Europe. The other members of the all-star roster here include Jean Fritz, Harry Mazer and Katherine Paterson. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Sometimes the most life-altering moments in young people's lives come as a result of being exposed to another culture. Davis seeks to explore these changes by gathering stories and memoirs from noted authors, among them Lois Lowry, Susie Morgenstern, Katherine Paterson, Graham Salisbury, and Jean Fritz. While most of the selections focus on evolved thinking while on foreign sojourns, two of the best are set in the United States. In a story guaranteed to make readers laugh, howl, and then cry, Piper Dellums, the privileged daughter of an African-American congressman, looks forward to making a sister of a South African exchange student. However, the teen who arrives at her doorstep is white and makes the mistake of thinking that her host family must be the congressman's servants. In "Looking for America," Elizabeth Partridge spends some time in the South and is astonished to find that a black cook who prepares the food can not drink from the family's glasses, but must use a mason jar. At his evocative best, Harry Mazer takes readers back to when he was a teenaged GI, bailing out of a flaming World War II bomber and wondering what happened to a friend who never returned. In this time of rising xenophobia, the message of these stories assumes new importance. It is best summed up by Davis's choice of a Mark Twain quotation: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 41,738
Reading Level: 6.1
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.1 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 72764 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 920L

Living in a new place is very different from visiting one, especially when that place is far away from home. Traveling gives us the rare opportunity to see who we might have been if we had been born someplace else. For some, it's a chance to recreate ourselves. For others, it's a time to realize who we already are. In Open Your Eyes, ten writers will be your guides to the journeys that changed their lives: a boarding school in England; parenthood in France; the most beautiful spots in Italy; China on the Yang-tze; a tiny shop in Tokyo, Japan; and even to Pilzen, Czechoslovakia as World War II is ending. Though each story offers an original viewpoint, all of the stories reflect back on two important themes: where we come from and how we become who we are. Edited by Jill Davis.

Introduction / Jill Davis
Empress / Lois Lowry
Simunye / Piper Dellums
Little American mom, big french suitcase / Susie Morgenstern
Join the army and see the world / Harry Mazer
An innocent abroad--fragments from the summer of 1953 / Katherine Paterson
Looking for America / Elizabeth Partridge
A brief guide to the ghosts of Great Britain / M.T. Anderson
Ahoy, down there! / Graham Salisbury
MK / Jean Fritz
The girl who had no story and had to steal one / Kathleen Krull & Jacqueline Brewer.

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