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. Tales of friendship, mystery, love, ghosts, magic, sci-fi and history take readers to Japan past and present and to Japanese communities abroad. Proceeds benefit teens affected by the 3/11/2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.
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.
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.

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Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson was raised in New England and earned a B.A. in biology from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. in English (concentration creative writing/​fiction) from New York University's Creative Writing Program. Longtime resident of Japan, she teaches creative writing at Yokohama City University, U.C. Berkeley Extension, and Boston's Grub Street Creative Writing Center.

Holly's fiction often relates to Japan and Asia. Her middle-grade verse novel Falling into the Dragon's Mouth (Holt/​Macmillan 2016) depicts Jason, an outsider American in a Japanese school trying to apply aikido skills while facing an escalating bullying situation. Her YA verse novel The Language Inside (Delacorte/​Random House, 2013) deals with language both spoken and unspoken and, through poetry that crosses boundaries, connecting a Japan-raised American girl with a Cambodian-American boy and the patients they assist in a long-term care center. In her YA verse novel Orchards (Delacorte/​Random House, 2011), which received the 2012 APALA Asian/​Pacific American Award for Literature, Kana, a half Japanese and half Jewish-American girl, is sent to spend the summer with Shizuoka relatives after the death of a classmate. Her novel Ash (Stone Bridge Press, 2001), set in Kagoshima and Kyoto, has been recommended as a teaching tool in high school and university classrooms studying Japan, Asia and intercultural issues. Her picture book The Wakame Gatherers (Shen's/​Lee and Low, 2007) depicts a bicultural girl who goes seaweed gathering with her Japanese and American grandmothers.

Holly's forthcoming picture book Twilight Chant is a lyrical exploration of the transition between day and night and of the animals who thrive during this special time. Holly's forthcoming One Wave at a Time is a picture book story in verse about grief and healing.

Holly edited and wrote the foreword to Tomo: Friendship through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Fiction, a young adult anthology of Japan-related fiction to benefit teens in the earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas of Tohoku. For more information about Tomo, visit the Tomo blog.

Holly's short stories, poetry and articles have been published in magazines and journals in the United States and Japan. She is a regular contributor to Wingspan, the ANA inflight magazine. Holly serves as Regional Advisor of the Japan chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI Japan).

Holly Thompson is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
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Short bio:
Holly Thompson ( is a longtime resident of Japan and author of the verse novels Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth, The Language Inside and Orchards, the novel Ash and picture books Twilight Chant, One Wave at a Time,and The Wakame Gatherers . A graduate of the NYU Creative Writing Program, she writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction for children, teens, and adults, and teaches creative writing in Japan, the U.S., and places in between.

Medium bio:
Holly Thompson (, originally from Massachusetts, is a longtime resident of Japan. She is the author of the novel Ash and three verse novels for young people: Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth, The Language Inside, and Orchards, winner of the Asian/​Pacific American Award for Literature. She is also author of the picture books Twilight Chant, One Wave at a Time,and The Wakame Gatherers and she edited Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, a collection of 36 Japan-related short stories, including ten in translation. She writes frequently on Japanese culture and is a columnist for the ANA inflight magazine Wingspan. A graduate of the NYU Creative Writing Program, she writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction for children, teens and adults, serves as Regional Advisor of SCBWI Japan (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and teaches at Yokohama City University, Boston's GrubStreet, and UC Berkeley Extension.