A lyrical story about grieving for anyone encountering loss.
A lyrical exploration of the transition between day and night and of the animals who thrive during this special time.
Bicultural Nanami goes seaweed gathering with her Japanese and American grandmothers. While translating for the two women she comes to understand they were at war when they were her age.
Middle Grade
"A poetic tale of overcoming school bullies."--Japan Times. Jason lives in Japan, has an orange belt in aikido, and doesn’t want trouble, but some kids at school just won’t leave him alone.
Young Adult
Leaving her beloved Japan after the tsunami, Emma feels as if she has left half of herself behind, but a volunteer job offers the healing properties of both poetry and romance.
After a classmate’s unexpected death, bi-racial Kana Goldberg is sent to her family’s farm in Japan to reflect on her participation in events that led up to the suicide.
Tomo This collection features thirty-six stories—including ten in translation and two graphic narratives—by authors and artists from around the world, all of whom share a connection to Japan. Proceeds benefit teens affected by the 3/11/2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.
New Adult, Adult
"A wonderfully insightful novel about a young woman living within two cultures. Thompson adeptly explores the lasting bonds of friendship and the courage needed to face the past in order to embrace the future."—Gail Tsukiyama, author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden
Short Stories, Poems, Articles and Essays
Holly Thompson's short stories, poems, articles and essays can be found in these anthologies, journals and magazines.

Quick Links

Find Authors


Welcome to my intercultural world! Originally from Massachusetts, for more than twenty years I have lived, worked, and raised a family in Japan. My books reflect this bilingual, cross-cultural world.

Falling into the Dragon's Mouth confronts school bullying in Japan. In this 2016 NCTAsia Freeman Book Award title, Jason--a sixth grader, orange belt in aikido, and big brother--struggles to cope with escalating aggression at school and thinks aikido will help him. Read 30 companion #NoticePoems on my HATBOOKS BLOG .

The Language Inside is about displacement, poetry, noodles, love and language. A YALSA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults title and a 2014 Notable Books for the Language Arts selection, this verse novel includes poems and many poem references. Read the story behind the story here, and download the Discussion, Writing, Activity and Service Guide for The Language Inside HERE.

Orchards won the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Bicultural Kana is a Japanese and Jewish/American girl sent from her home in New York to spend the summer with relatives in Japan after the death by suicide of a classmate. As Kana is immersed in the mikan orchards of the tiny village of Kohama, she tries to make sense of what happened.

Two new picture books will launch in spring 2018. Twilight Chant is a lyrical evocation of the transition between day and night and an exploration of the animals who thrive during this time; due out from Clarion March 20, 2018. One Wave at a Time is a lyrical story about grief and healing, for anyone encountering loss; due out from Albert Whitman & Co. April 1, 2018.

Visit SPEAKING & VISITS for info about school visits, Skype visits, presentations and more.
Visit CONTACT & CONSULTS for info about manuscript consultations.
Visit NEWS & EVENTS for info about publications, classes I'm teaching, conferences, and more.
Visit BOOKS for info on my various books.
Visit INTERVIEWS for lots of background about me and the stories I write.
CONTACT ME with any questions.
Follow my HATBOOKS BLOG about day-to-day Japan life, poetry, Cambodia, school visits, volunteer work in tsunami-hit Tohoku, mikan oranges and wakame seaweed, and teaching and writing.
"Like" me (authorHollyThompson) on Facebook.
Find me on Goodreads.
And follow me on Twitter:

May you have many wonderful cross cultural journeys. Safe travels to you!

Holly Thompson


Twilight Chant by Holly Thompson, illustrated by Jen Betton (Clarion/HMH, March 20, 2018)

One Wave at a Time, by Holly Thompson, illustrated by Ashley Crowley (Albert Whitman & Co., April 1, 2018)