Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
Skye and Hiroshi Tsuki are cousins but they've never meet. Skye lives in the United States with her parents and loves to play soccer. Hiroshi lives in Japan with his parents and grandfather, and loves flying kites. After Skye's father married,he moved to the States, and has never been back to Japan. Skye is finally going to meet her grandfather because he's moving to Virginia to for medical treatment. Hiroshi and his parents are moving as well.
The chapters alternate between the two cousins. The author does an excellent job, transitioning from Skye to Hiroshi. The two have very distinct voices and concerns. Skye has been selected for the soccer all star team for the first time, though there's a conflict with the Japanese lessons and she might not be able to play. Hiroshi is having a difficult time adjusting to the move and learning English. One thing the two have in common is their grandfather. Hirsohi has always been very close to his grandfather. Skye feels an instant bond with his grandfather and wants to get to know him better.
Some of best scenes center around kite flying/ kite fighting, both of which run through Tsuki's blood, including Skye's even though she never touched a kite until she meets her cousin and grandfather. Many of the readers who pick up this book will be unfamiliar Kokkaku, or Japanese fighting kites and explanations could've easy bogged down the storyline. However the author gives the reader, clear, fun and visually appealing basic understanding of Kokkaku. Flying the Dragon is a very fitting title for this great debut.