“Indigo Girl is a complex yet beautiful maze of cultures and generations, in their sameness as well as differences. Kamata effectively juxtaposes Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly, with the story of Aiko’s parents, and goes on to talk about the difficulties of multi-cultural marriages and the things that go ‘unsaid’ because of personal constraints and societal expectations.” —Kitaab
“Kamata’s talent for pithy dialogue, coupled with the sensitive portrayal of teenage life, make this another winner for the Shikoku-based writer.” The Japan Times
From the author of the bestselling Gadget GirlFifteen-year-old Aiko Cassidy, a bicultural girl with cerebral palsy, grew up in Michigan with her single mother. For as long as she could remember, it was just the two of them. When a new stepfather and a baby half sister enter her life, she finds herself on the margins. Having recently come into contact with her biological father, she is invited to spend the summer with his indigo-growing family in a small Japanese farming village. Aiko thinks she just might fit in better in Japan. If nothing else, she figures the trip will inspire her manga story, Gadget Girl.
However, Aiko’s stay in Japan is not quite the easygoing vacation that she expected. Her grandmother is openly hostile toward her, and she soon learns of painful family secrets that have been buried for years. Even so, she takes pleasure in meeting new friends. She is drawn to Taiga, the figure skater who shows her the power of persistence against self-doubt. Sora is a fellow manga enthusiast who introduces Aiko to a wide circle of like-minded artists. And then there is Kotaro, a refugee from the recent devastating earthquake in northeastern Japan.
As she gets to know her biological father and the story of his break with her mother, Aiko begins to rethink the meaning of family and her own place in the world.
“Indigo Girl is a moving coming-of-age story that transports you to a rural Japanese farmland through the eyes of a half-Japanese teen who falls in love, gets to know her estranged father, and also just happens to have cerebral palsy. I give this book all the hearts.” —Margaret Dilloway, Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters and The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns
Praise for Gadget Girl:
“Anyone who has ever longed to come into their own will love Gadget Girl.”
—Leza Lowitz, author of Jet Black and The Ninja Wind
“Spunky heroine with big dreams? Check! Trip to Paris? Check! Hot French waiter? Check! Gadget Girl has everything a reader like me could wish for, and more. I love this story.”
—Tamara Ireland Stone, author of Time Between Us
“Suzanne Kamata beautifully captures the essence of what it feels like when you’re learning to be who you already are.”
—Andrea J. Buchanan, author of the multimedia YA title Gift and co-author, The Daring Book for Girls
Suzanne Kamata’s books include Losing Kei; The Beautiful One Has Come, (long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award); and three anthologies. Her short stories and essays have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times. She is Fiction Co-editor of literarymama.com and Fiction Editor of Kyoto Journal. Suzanne Kamata lives in Tokushima, Japan with her husband and her bicultural twins.
Young Adult Fiction