Aiko spends the summer in rural Japan with her biological father in this sequel to Gadget Girl (2013).
Aiko Cassidy feels like she doesn’t fit in with the perfect family her mother has created with her Latinx stepfather and their new baby. Aiko is biracial (her mother is white) and has cerebral palsy. Hoping for a sense of belonging and some inspiration for her manga, Gadget Girl, she accepts her biological father’s invitation to spend the summer with his family on their indigo farm in Japan. Aiko attends school with her half brother, goes on tours with her father and his wife, and tries to please her disapproving Obaachan. As long-buried family secrets emerge, Aiko’s view of her entire family changes. Kamata has created another engaging coming-of-age story about finding one’s place in the world. The inclusion of the Japanese language and cultural details adds richness to Aiko’s journey of self-discovery. Past disasters that have deeply affected Japan—atomic bombs, earthquakes, and tsunamis—are in turn shown to influence Aiko’s view of the world. So much happens in the book that some elements are not fully developed, and readers may be left wanting more resolution. However, overall the storylines weave together beautifully.
A lovely sequel that focuses on finding strength in one’s self and maintaining hope when all seems lost. (Fiction. 12-17)