Read Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat Online


First Person Fiction is dedicated to the immigrant experience in modern America. In "Behind the Mountains" Edwidge Danticat tells the story of Celiane and her family's struggles in Haiti and New York.It is election time in Haiti, and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. During a visit from her home in rural Haiti, Celiane Espérance and her mother areFirst Person Fiction is dedicated to the immigrant experience in modern America. In "Behind the Mountains" Edwidge Danticat tells the story of Celiane and her family's struggles in Haiti and New York.It is election time in Haiti, and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. During a visit from her home in rural Haiti, Celiane Espérance and her mother are nearly killed. Looking at her country with new eyes, Celiane gains a fresh resolve to be reunited with her father in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh winter and concrete landscape of her new home are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents' struggle to earn a living, her brother's uneasy adjustment to American society, and her own encounters with learning difficulties and school violence....

Title : Behind the Mountains
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780439373005
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Behind the Mountains Reviews

  • Carly G
    2018-12-12 02:17

    This book behind the mountains is a great story about a girl named “Ce Ce” who lives in Haiti with her mother, brother and grandparents. Her father lives in New York by himself. On day “Ce Ce’s” family visited their aunt, Tante Rose. One day the capital gets bombed. Manman(Ce Ce’s mother) gets a huge cut on her leg and Ce Ce gets a bump on her head. Thanks to a couple of calls Rose makes, Ce Ce’s family get’s to move to New York with her father. I would recommend this book to people who like reading diary books. This book doesnt have a lot of action but it has a little drama and a little suspense. My favorite part is when they move to New York because it is sweet when the family reunites.

  • Jamie
    2018-11-30 00:18

    Behind the mountains by Edwidge Danticat is a story about immigration experience. This story starts off in Haiti in 2000, a time of chaos when there are new elections going on and people are hoping for changes. The main character, Celiane tells her story about life behind the mountains, away from the problems of the city. Her father has been living in New York for several years and he sends money home to them, this helps them survive. Celian's brother Moy wants to live in Port-au-prince, so his family travels there to help him settle. On the way home, the Van they are riding in is bombed. This is a turning point as the incident helps Celiane's family get the Visas they need to go and live with their father in NY. Once in Brooklyn NY the family start to fall apart. Adjustig into a new country is difficult for the children. There is a harsh winter, it is hard watching their family struggle to earn a living. Celiane experiences learning difficulties and violence at school. Celiane is given a book and decides to keep a jounnal. It tells the story of her life from October 2000 to March 2001. It often mentions her love for the tiny mountain village she lived in.There is a text world connection here. It is clear that many new immigrants have difficulties adgusting to a new country or culture. Many have problems learning in school, or learning a new language. This adjustment reflects the major theme of this book. I would rate this book a 4 because it is very realistic. It really captures the adjustment to a new culture that immigrants must make. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books about families adjusting to a new culture or country.

  • Kathleen
    2018-11-13 23:32

    I really liked this book; but it helps that my extended family just adopted two little girls from Haiti, so that added to the poignancy of the story.

  • Arminzerella
    2018-11-23 00:16

    Celiane and her older brother Moy live with their mother in a rural village in Haiti, while their father, who has gone to the United States to work sends them money and makes recordings of his voice so they can keep in touch. When Celiane and her mother are injured in bombings (due to the elections) while traveling between the city where their aunt lives and their home, both father and aunt try to expedite the immigration process so the family can be together in America in time for Christmas. Life in the states is very different. Celiane must adjust to a new home, new school, new friends, and life in the big city of New York. Not only that, but their long separation has made them all practically strangers to one another. It’s a difficult transition that’s made slightly easier by her father’s connections and the large Haitian community in which they settle. Celiane makes a few friends who help her navigate the large and confusing city and finds a comfortable routine in her studies. Moy and father, however, continue to butt heads until father impulsively throws Moy out. They eventually reconcile, and Moy is able to begin following his dream of becoming a painter (even father is able to recognize his talent). Edwidge Danticat is also a Haitian immigrant whose family was split up when her parents moved to the states (she and her brother were raised for several years by other family members in Haiti), so she writes from personal experience. Celiane delivers her story through diary entries that are rich with a sense of place. This short, lyrical title would be of interest to those who enjoy reading about other cultures and places, and may have some current interest in light of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. Edwidge Danticat writes realistically about the problems immigrants might face and the unstable political climate of her former country.

  • Elaine
    2018-11-24 22:36

    Behind the Mountains was the first book Danticat wrote for children, and she wrote it as part of a Scholastic series of first-person stories written by immigrants to share the experience of immigrating to the U.S. Intended audience is about the 6th-grade level, though some advanced younger readers, and definitely some older readers could be the intended audience as well. It is written through the eyes of a young protagonist, giving children someone to relate to, but there is much to be gained from this book even for older readers.Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction (chronological order, first-person diary format, progressive plot)Subjects: Culture and Diversity, Immigration, Changes and New Experiences, Confronting and Resolving Fears, Families and Social Structures, Social Issues and ConditionsThemes present common concerns all children can relate to:- Beyond the idea of struggles faced by immigrants, the book also addresses a more universal challenge: that of growing up and having to navigate a new relationship with parents who still see you as a child.- Self-discovery: realizing that even in another language (could apply to other types of changes) you’re still the same person.- Being unable to relate to or communicate with your parentsAdditional reactions to the book:- I really enjoyed the theme of proverbs running throughout. They’re an important part of Haitian culture, and Danticat made them an important part of this story as well. - You could tell it was personal for the author. While not expressly autobiographical, there were some distinct commonalities between Danticat’s life and Celiane’s journey.- Importance of various forms of the arts

  • Justins
    2018-11-19 02:20

    Behind the Mountains is about a girl name Celiane. She is the main character in this book, as well as her brothers Moy and Manman. They lived in a house that was built by their father in Haiti. Their parents were divorced because they went through hard times together. After they got divorced, their father moved to New York, and the mother died in a car accident. So one day their father sent them money to come to New York. Celiane and her brothers were happy on their journey to New York, but it was also rough because they were traveling by themselves and they didn't know anyone, until they met a lady named Tante Rose that helped them through their journey. Reading this book, I made a text to self connection. This book was about a girl from Haiti that traveled to Brooklyn. My friend Badi traveled from Africa to New York. Badi and Celiane both speak another language other than English. Badi and Celiane had a good life in New York. They had a good experience seeing new people and eating different food.I give this book 5 stars. It discusses a lot about traveling and facts about Haiti. It also talks about how Celiane had a new life in Brooklyn. The characters are well developed. I like how Celiane and her brothers reacted when they came to Brooklyn. The reason I gave this book five stars is because it showed each character's personality.

  • Sienna
    2018-12-05 00:31

    I've read a book that is part of this "First Person Fiction" set of books and I really liked it so I decided I wanted to read this one too. Both this book and the other I read were written in journaling style, and for me, books like that seem to go by so much faster. I like it, but it's sad when it's over. This book is about a girl name Celiane living in Haiti during a time of election of their president, when some violent people are causing trouble by setting off bombs and killing and harming people. Her father is living in Brooklyn, New York to provide for them. Celiane's home is in the mountains where she would've been safe from the bombs, but at this time she goes to visit her aunt living in the capital city Pourt-au-Prince where the politics are more of a big deal to the citizens. She and her mother are returning home on a tram (or something like that) when a bomb is set off near it. Luckily she and her mother survive, but her mother has a huge cut on her leg and many others who were riding the tram died. Worried for their safety in Haiti and wanting to be with their father and husband, her family eventually is able to make it to New York to be reunited with him. It's a wonderful story again, about the strength and courage of a young girl, and how she finds and decides where her true home really is.

  • Laura
    2018-11-17 21:30

    I love Edwidge Danticat. Her writing is poetic but not overdone; it's deceptively simple and graceful. Her characters are complex and beautiful, and Danticat has a perceptive sense of relationships dynamics between characters. This book takes the form of a diary written by Celiane and tells the story of Celiane's family living in Haiti at the time of the 2000 election of Aristide. The first half of the book takes place in Haiti, and the second half takes place in New York City. Therefore, it's a great combination of both the experience of living in Haiti and the experience of being a Haitian immigrant in the US. I also really like how Haitian and American history are subtly interwoven into the story, and I feel that, when I read this book with my ESL students, there will be a lot of different themes and topics to research in relation to the story. The best stories, in my opinion, are the ones through which you learn not only more about the characters and the world they live in but also the world that you yourself live in and the corresponding history. Danticat's stories always make me want to learn more about history, race, culture, and language. I highly recommend any book by Danticat.

  • Bookreaderljh
    2018-12-11 22:40

    Danticat is one of my favorite authors. Fiction or non-fiction I don't believe there is any book she has written that I didn't like. This book would really be a good YA novel especially for a Haitian immigrant child. It's a fast read - achingly simple (as it should be as it is written from a child's perspective) - and yet it is so real and descriptive as it tells essentially two stories. A short period of time in Haiti with a family that has been separated from their father and struggle between rural and city Haiti themes. And then the beginning of the family's story as they are reunited with the father in the diaspora of New York City. Family joy and sorrow are convincingly depicted in the little things of life but you keep reading as it is a fascinating story of a young girl just beginning to value the power of words. Her letter to her father brought tears to my eyes. Family dynamics and the story of her brother show that sometimes love isn't enough to avoid problems but it is enough to get through them and come out on the other side OK. Our fears from the "streams of our dreams" can be fought and overcome but it's not an easy path.

  • Vera
    2018-11-13 02:28

    the book behind the mountains by edwidge danticat is about a girl named celiane living in haiti with her mother (manman) and her broter Moy. living without her father is tough for he but he has no choice. he goes off to brooklyn new york to work at a restaurant. he sends them money for food so they can afford to eat. after 5 years of waiting the family finally gets to go to new york after a very terrifying bombing that almost seperated celiane and her manman forever. when they arrive in new york they are supised at the weather. she goes to a new school with gangs gun shots, fighting and no friends. they finally move into their dream apartment and moy wants to paint instead of going o school. he fights with his father forcing him to run away for a week and a half leaving Celiane and Manman to worry. he coms back with a heart lifting reunion to his family and hey adjust to their new lives together and somewhat safe.

  • Victoria Alvord
    2018-12-02 23:18

    The book Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat is a first person fiction book about a woman named Celiane who tells a story about her family's hard times in Haiti and New York. It is election time in Haiti right now and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and during that time Celiane and her mom take a visit to Haiti to see their home and are nearly killed. Celaine wants to gain a full family again, and the only way to do that is to move to New York City where their Dad lives and has been working for a while. Being in New York has not been a comfortable atmosphere for Celiane. Celiane has a lot of difficulties living in New York like getting used to the culture and also a lot of school violence as well. This book was a very good book and I definitely recommend to everyone! It was definitely a grab the reader book!

  • Renee
    2018-11-20 02:40

    Edwidge Dantcat’s novel Behind the mountains was a very informative reading. It was a very visual type of text, which led you to feel like you where in the middle of the harsh winter setting that were repeatedly mention. The author of the novel used her own connection and story of emigrating from Haiti to New York, and then transformed it into a very well developed reading. The main character Celiane has a similar story to the author, moving from the capital city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince to Brooklyn, New York. The amount of detail of the election time bombing settings in the text made it a sad reading. However I would recommend this book to people interested in reading about a moving story of an individual’s life. Although many parts of the novel left nothing but melancholy feelings it was still a good book.

  • Sam Musher
    2018-11-29 19:41

    I was so pleased to see that Danticat had written a middle grade novel! I live and teach in a community with a large Haitian population, so books set in that part of the world are especially valuable for my library. But I only got through half of this. It feels Important, but it's boring. Some of this is, I think, the fault of the diary format -- for instance, when the main character is caught in a bomb blast, that should have been a riveting action scene, but we have to hear about it at a remove a few days later when she gets around to writing about it in the hospital. Some of it might be that writing for middle schoolers is different from writing for adults, and even the most brilliant adult authors often don't get it. But when I have to force myself this hard, kids will too -- it isn't worth it.

  • sydney
    2018-11-10 23:33

    This is another young adult book written by Danticat. The protagonist, Celiane, lives in Haiti with her mother and brother, and they anxiously await the day that their father will send for them to join him in New York. Meanwhile, they prepare for the upcoming election while violence explodes around them. Set against this political backdrop, Celiane's story also focuses on more kid-friendly topics, like her best friend's crush on her older brother, her feelings about her father's absence, and her struggle to make new friends at school. I'm not the intended audience for this book, but I liked it. The book retains Danticat's signature figurative language and imagery. Recommended for middle-school and early high school students who enjoy Danticat but find her adult books a bit too dense or difficult.

  • donna
    2018-12-09 03:22

    Edwidge Danticat, imagines the life of Celiane Esperance, a young teen moving to the U.S. The book starts out in the year 2000 as Aristide seeks a second presidency and political unrest breaks out in Port-au-Prince. Celiane and her family get caught up in a scary bombing as the reader imagines what it would be like to live in a country where the suspicion of a rigged election (heavy irony here in August 2016) leads to violent protests. After finally being cleared to emigrate to New York to join her father, Celiane and her family then face the adjustment to a new city, climate, and culture. This is a short book that can be read in a few hours but it is incredibly powerful in introducing the reader to life in Haiti and the experiences of new U.S. immigrants. Also, Danticat is an incredibly writer and it is a joy to read her prose.

  • Sara Latta
    2018-11-16 01:39

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. After the earthquake, I thought I would write about some YA books with a Haitian theme for my recommendation column. There aren't that many out there (hint, hint, YA authors) but I felt sure that this one by Danticat, a really talented author, would be terrific. It was good, but not great. First of all, it was described as a young adult novel, but it's solidly middle grade. That's OK. But more disappointing was that it seemed to lack emotional depth, the writing a little clunky at times. Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting and sometimes entertaining account of the immigrant experience of a young Haitian girl. Perhaps my expectations were too high. What I'd really like to read is a YA equivalent of Madison Smartt Bell's Haitian trilogy.

  • Karen
    2018-12-02 23:27

    I think this would be a great independent reading book for some of my intermediate ESL students. The main character is from rural Haiti and experiences the political unrest of Port-au-Prince while visiting an aunt. The character then moves to New York to be reunited with her father. Personally, I wish her experiences in the U.S. had been delved into more deeply. There were also some complicated passages language-wise that might challenge an ESL student. I wonder though, if Danticat's poetic/proverbial style might have traces of Haitian Creole in it to make it easier for that audience to understand.While this certainly isn't the best novel on a high school student's immigrant experience, it would appeal and be readable for high school ESL students.

  • Rose Fabienne
    2018-11-30 00:12

    Most young haitian people would like this book because Danticat uses some haitian words that is so funny and most of the haitian immigrant can related their life to this book. This book describe a family life in Haiti that wants to come join their father in America. This family struggles a lots of problem by going to the city during the election period. I like this book because I can relate it to my life because I also struggles with life by coming to America. Moy one of the character of this book follow his dream when he arrives to America even his dad did not wants that. I highly recommended this book to read because it has a strong connection to any immigrant life.

  • Michael
    2018-11-15 00:27

    Very good!!! The only reason it did not earn five from me is there were parts in the middle that seemed a little flat/predictable, but perhaps this is because I am used to her more complex structure in non-YA lit. This is definitely an accessible gateway into the Haitian culture, AS WELL AS A BRIDGE to our own!! The book uses more contemporary issues: the Aristide ELECTION in Haiti as opposed to Trujillo or the Duvalier DICTATORSHIPS and the Bush/Gore election controversy. The parallels are definitely useful to younger readers. The diary entry format is also conducive for introducing a lesser-known culture. I would definitely teach it!!

  • John
    2018-12-04 23:38

    Once again, a good effort by Edwidge Danticat. I'm disappointed on pieces of the story, especially with its quick transitions from the bombing in Haiti to the family's move to New York. Her narrative didn't have its usual flow, but there some strong moments here and there, especially with the ending. I'm probably also being a little more critical than I should because her last book, Claire by the Sea Light, was perfect, simply incredible. I understand this was focused towards a younger crowd, but again, the book didn't know what identity wanted to have. Nonetheless, a strong ending combined with being a light read and one of Danticat's books, I liked it.

  • Mrs. Francis
    2018-11-13 02:33

    An interesting story about a girl who lives in Haiti and her father lives in New York City. It is written in a diary format (which is pretty cool), and brings you through the trials and tribulations of a family living apart. The family eventually reunites in NYC, but continues their strifes adjusting to life in a "new world". Some of the words are written in Haitian Creole, so if you're not familiar with the language, you will have to check out the glossry as you're reading. Overall, a good story.

  • NML_dc
    2018-11-24 19:18

    Every one of Danticat's books is a delight. Her narrative voice is so distinctively hers yet conveys such a range of Haitian (and human) experience. Each time I read a new work of hers I feel like I get to know her more, like she has unveiled and shared another layer of herself. She writes about and has herself lived through such pain and sorrow in way that is beautiful, full of light and hope. I do not know of any other contemporary writer with such a gift for writing with grace in the face of sometimes unimaginable loss, of her own and of the people of Haiti.

  • Debbie
    2018-11-13 03:22

    Celiane keeps a diary describing her life in Haiti and her subsequent journey to be reunited with her father in America. While not as lyrical as some of Danticat's writing for adults (Krik? Krak!, for example), Behind the Mountains gives a glimpse into the rhythms of Haitian life and describes a new immigrant's struggles to adapt to life in a strange country. For me, the most interesting part of the novel is the afterward, where the author briefly describes her own experiences as an immigrant.

  • Ms. Wayne
    2018-11-27 21:29

    From the PublisherIt is election time in Haiti, and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-Au-Prince. During a visit from her home in rural Haiti, Celiane Espérance and her Mother are nearly killed. Looking at her country with new eyes, Celiane Gains a fresh resolve to be reunited with her Father in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh winter and concrete landscape of her new home are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents' struggle to earn a living, her brother's uneasy adjustment to American society, and her own encounters with learning difficulties and school violence.

  • Sarah Macdonald
    2018-11-28 02:13

    I love Edwidge Danticat, and there are some hints of her lovely, richly imagistic prose. However, it seems she's taken "for younger readers" to mean simple subject-verb sentences and neither plot nor character development. Instead, it reads like a guide to Haitian cultural history and immigration framed loosely around her main character. I was hoping this would introduce young readers to the stunning prose of Danticat, but it falls so flat, I'd be afraid I'd scare them away from reading her novels in the future!

  • Sandy D.
    2018-11-24 21:39

    Danticat is one of those authors I've been meaning to read for years (or at least since the earthquakes in Haiti a few years back), so when I saw this short book for kids - about growing up in Haiti and then moving to NYC - I grabbed it. It's a simple story, but a powerful one, about a child's view of terrorism and political violence, rural vs. city life (in Haiti as well as New York), and being an immigrant. Recommended, for kids as well as adults.

  • Liz Murray
    2018-11-12 01:33

    A book aimed at a YA audience so the prose is simplified compared to Danticat's 'adult' fiction but is touching none the less. I was close to tears at a couple of points. There is no cheap sentimentalism but genuine emotion and feeling. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Edwidge Danticat's work. It is a relatively easy book to read and I would recommend it to any child who is up to it and would recommend it to all parents.

  • Sokari
    2018-11-29 02:18

    Behind the mountains is a semi autobiographical novel written for children. Dandicat moved to the US, in 1971 at the age of 10 to join her parents who had left 8 years previously. Celiane, the protagonist, also leaves for the US aged 10 but it is now 2002 and there are many differences for children today as TV and communication technologies have shorten the distance between Haiti and the US. Beautifully written in Dandicats usual poetic simple language.

  • Abby
    2018-11-29 00:30

    A beautiful book about life in Haiti and eventual immigration to New York City. Danticat bases this book on her own experiences, but sets it during the turbulent 2000 elections in Haiti. The language of this book is simple and straightforward, making it approachable for a range of readers, but the story and themes make a powerful impact. I highly recommend for middle school students.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-30 01:41

    This is another book purchased for my classroom library. It's great for students because it looks at the immigration experience and the adjustments immigrants make when moving to a very different climate and culture.