Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--
An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories
Edited and with a Foreword by Holly Thompson
Published by Stone Bridge Press, March 2012
978-1-61172-006-8| $14.95 US • $16.50 CAN |
*also available as an eBook: 978-1-61172-518-6
Published one year after the 2011 Japan earthquake, this collection brings teens closer to Japan and contributes to long-term relief efforts.
Tomo (meaning “friend” in Japanese) is an anthology of young adult short fiction in prose, verse and graphic art set in or related to Japan. This collection for readers age 12 and up features thirty-six stories—including ten in translation and two graphic narratives—contributed by authors and artists from around the world, all of whom share a connection to Japan. English-language readers will be able to connect with Japan through a wide variety of unique stories, including tales of friendship, mystery, fantasy, science fiction and history.
By sharing “friendship through fiction,” Tomo aims to bring Japan stories to readers worldwide, and in doing so, to help support young people affected or displaced by the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami disasters. Proceeds from the sales of this book go toward long-term relief efforts for teens in Tohoku, the area most affected by the disasters, in the northeast region of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Tomo fund donations have gone to the Japan-based NPO Hope for Tomorrow (hope-tomorrow.jp), which in addition to providing educational expenses (including university entrance exam fees, travel costs to exam centers, etc.) also provides mentoring, tutoring, and foreign language support to high school students in hard-hit areas of Tohoku; Penguins Art Kobo (www.penginscafe.jp) which aims to foster artistic expression in differently abled children, to create exhibition opportunities for them, and to enable group art experiences for all individuals in greater Ishinomaki; and Sokoage (sokoage.org), which engages high school students in community building and problem solving, supports a meeting and gathering space for high school students and Sokoage staff members, holds monthly community meal events with guest speakers; guides students in getting to know their community, as well as creating materials to promote the region and record experiences of 3/11, provides volunteer academic support in temporary housing sites and elsewhere, encourages students who have graduated from high school to stay involved in Kesennuma issues and events, and holds supportive training camps for college students.
Edited and with a Foreword by Holly Thompson, Tomo contributing authors and artists include Andrew Fukuda (Crossing), Liza Dalby (The Tale of Murasaki), Tak Toyoshima (Secret Asian Man syndicated comic), Alan Gratz (The Brooklyn Nine), Wendy Nelson Tokunaga (Love in Translation), Deni Y. Béchard (Vandal Love), Debbie Ridpath Ohi (illustrator of I’m Bored), Graham Salisbury (Under the Blood-Red Sun), Naoko Awa (The Fox’s Window and Other Stories), Suzanne Kamata (The Beautiful One Has Come) and Shogo Oketani (J-Boys), among others.
Visit the Tomo blog at tomoanthology.blogspot.com to read interviews with the author, translator and illustrator contributors, learn how proceeds from the sales of the book will be used to help teens in Japan and more.
Holly Thompson, whose novel Orchards won the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, is a longtime writing teacher and resident of Japan. She serves as regional advisor for the Japan chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Visit her website at www.hatbooks.com.
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