A Note from Holly Thompson
I grew up in New England in the U.S. but have lived in Japan for eighteen years. My books reflect the crossing of cultures amid my family, among my students, and within the communities in which I find myself immersed.
My new verse novel The Language Inside has launched! Read about the book birthday party held in Korea here, and learn a bit about the story behind the story here.
In its review of The Language Inside School Library Journal says: "Thompson captures perfectly the feeling of belonging elsewhere. A sensitive and compelling read that will inspire teens to contemplate how they can make a difference." And Kirkus says: "As Emma volunteers, helping a physically disabled adult write poetry, and meets a multigenerational Cambodian community with Khmer Rouge history, Thompson nimbly braids political tragedy, natural disaster, PTSD, connections among families, and a cautious, quiet romance into an elegant whole." See excerpts of more reviews in the BOOKS section of this site. I hope you enjoy this new novel.
My verse novel Orchards was awarded the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults title. 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 suicide of a classmate. I hope you'll join Kana as she is immersed in the tiny village of Kohama, working in the mikan orchards and trying to make sense of what happened. See the Orchards section of this site.
And be sure to visit the INTERVIEWS section of this site for lots of background on the stories I write.
Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, the collection of 36 Japan-related stories that I edited and wrote the foreword to (see below), was published by Stone Bridge Press in March 2012. Check out the extensive Reader's Guide with all sorts of writing prompts and discussion questions and read interviews with the many contributors on the Tomo blog. Proceeds from the sales of Tomo will support teens in the areas of Tohoku, Japan, affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
On my HATBOOKS blog you can read about travels in Cambodia, school visits, volunteer work in tsunami-hit Tohoku, mikan oranges and wakame seaweed, day-to-day Japan life, teaching, writing, and travel.
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May you have many wonderful cross cultural journeys.
Safe travels to you!