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Dana is excited about her school trip to Japan despite the fact that she is surrounded by the Melly Mob, ""in-crowd"" kids who make fun of her. Dana is certain she will be less of an outsider in Japan, home of manga and anime. But she soon discovers that it's just as difficult to fit in with a foreign culture as it is to fit in at school. And the only other manga fan that she meets refuses to talk to her. As Dana learns to meet people halfway and gains some friends in Japan, Melissa, leader of the Melly Mob, makes every effort to remind her that she's still an outsider.close this panel
"Everything here is backward," Melissa complains.
"Yeah," Zach agrees with a laugh.
My hackles rise. Was Melissa always this anal?
"Maybe it's you that's backward," I say. Melissa and several of the others turn and stare at me. Then their eyes glaze over as if I'm not here.
"Did you hear something?" Melissa says to the girl beside her.
The girl shrugs. "No, just a weird buzzing sound. Street noise, I guess."
They turn their backs on me—as if I care.
"Readers will easily identify with fish-out-of-water Dana, and travel-minded teens will appreciate the tourist's-eye view of Japan."
"This is another excellent title in a superb series for older students with low reading skills."