A lovely sequel that focuses on finding strength in one’s self and maintaining hope when all seems lost.

READ REVIEW

INDIGO GIRL

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)

Pub Date: May 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-936846-73-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Gemma

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A wandering attempt at fiction suffocated with bizarre descriptive language that would baffle any English major

THE DOG

Somewhere in this book, a much better boy-meets-dog story is struggling to get out.

When Theo’s mother gets him a puppy to insulate the 11-year-old from his abusive, alcoholic father, Shadow does what dogs always do; with typical canine loyalty, he becomes a companion and soul mate. Set in a small New England town, Theo and Shadow dabble in a linear series of events (learning to heel, explorations of mud and marshes) in time to show up for a predictable ending. Local gas station owners Ahanu Lightstone and Oota Dabun are dropped into a post–World War II white world with their Algonquin beliefs untouched by time or reality. Kirkpatrick (The Address of Happiness, 2013) and Taylor veer from stereotypical Native American mysticism to racism, learning disabilities, brutal wife-beatings, a dog who talks to a cat, and coming-of-age sexuality without finding a place to settle their cumbersome tale. Bogged down with obtuse, seemingly random language (“The profound truths reside beyond the purview of one language, one continent, one species. The divine is available to all life when spirit-eyes are used to observe the reality that breathes beyond the senses,”), none of the characters, not even the dog, will charm readers of any age. Theo and his family are white.

A wandering attempt at fiction suffocated with bizarre descriptive language that would baffle any English major . (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-943785-85-8

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Rabbit Publishers

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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