Himawari House is a graphic novel for young adults that focuses on foreign exchange students in Japan. The students are learning Japanese in order to work, go to university, and connect with their roots.
I have never felt some many feelings while reading a graphic novel. Anxiety when the students are taking their exams, joy, happiness. I even wept in the two-page life story of their Obaachan neighbor.
I also appreciated that the author wrote the student’s English with an accent. Students of a new language aren’t going to speak it perfectly, and writing the students with an accent made the characters feel real.
Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and First Second Books for including me on this tour and for the finished copy of this book!
A young adult graphic novel about three foreign exchange students and the pleasures, and difficulties, of adjusting to living in Japan.
Living in a new country is no walk in the park―Nao, Hyejung, and Tina can all attest to that. The three of them became fast friends through living together in the Himawari House in Tokyo and attending the same Japanese cram school. Nao came to Japan to reconnect with her Japanese heritage, while Hyejung and Tina came to find freedom and their own paths. Though each of them has her own motivations and challanges, they all deal with language barriers, being a fish out of water, self discovery, love, and family.
Harmony Becker was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the illustrator of George Takei’s graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy. She currently lives in Mexico City.
Book Title: Himawari House
Author: Harmony Becker
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: November 9, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Graphic Novel
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55780534-himawari-house
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