Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu’s second novel in verse tells the story of one girl’s experiences during the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tokyo.
Maya is an innocent and deeply empathetic person, who feels not only her own pain and hardship, but also that of her family, friends and community. When disaster strikes, she worries about them as well as for those most severely impacted, miles away from her in northeastern Japan. She’s desperate to find ways to help, but her initial efforts all seem insignificant. What difference can one girl make?
Donwerth-Chikamatsu’s verse skillfully evokes Maya’s poignant emotional landscape during and in the aftermath of the tragedies she experiences. Hopefully very few readers will know what it’s like to live through an earthquake or a tsunami, but through Maya’s story, they will understand what the survivors of such disasters may have felt.
Beyond Me showcases the best of humanity under the worst of circumstances as Maya learns to care for herself and her own heart as much as she cares for others.