Saturday, May 12, 2012

Reviews for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction!

Two months have passed since the birthday of the benefit anthology Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, and the reviews have been solidly positive. Below are some review excerpts and links. Click on the link for the full review. Enjoy!

Reviews for Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction

"A big but consistently engaging pro bono anthology of authors with direct or indirect Japanese 'heritage or experience.' A broadly appealing mix of the tragic and droll, comforting, disturbing, exotic and universal, with nary a clinker in the bunch." --Kirkus Reviews 

"Tomo is an excellent story collection, presenting a rich and varied immersion in Japanese culture from a teen perspective." --VOYA (print only)

"With slices of Japanese language, folklore, history, popular culture, and other ethnic references, Tomo, which means friend in Japanese, offers a unique and wide-ranging taste of Japanese life." --Booklist (print only)

"The thirty-six stories. . . cover a wide range of genres (prose, verse, graphic narratives) and feature nine stories translated from the Japanese. With the exception of Graham Salisbury and Alan Gratz, most of the authors, many of whom write for adults, will be new to American teens." --The Horn Book, Out of the Box

"The stories in Tomo, "friend" in Japanese, resonate beyond the confines of tragedy in the Tohoku region to reflect a generation who will grow up indelibly marked but not defeated by 3/11...There is sadness and suicide, loss and, yes, the tsunami. But these stories equally cover everything important to the younger generation as entrance exams, ghosts, J-pop, love, divorce, baseball, gamers, ninjas and dragons coordinate to form a whole." --The Japan Times 

"This collection of short stories and poems about Japanese teens is weird and wonderful, studded with the unique color of Japanese teen pop culture, as well as the impact of defining events from the twenty-first century to the present: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster . . . . There's something fabulously specific about the pop culture references that can make reading Tomo: Friendship through Fiction feel like a virtual tour of Japan." --Barnes and Noble Review 

"These 36 unique, heartwarming tales allow readers to feel Japan and its culture, as well as identify with the characters and their experiences during the sensitive teen years and the struggle to belong and to mature. From historical times to modern day, from traditions to current pop culture, from countryside to big city, from the country of Japan to Japanese communities around the world, these stories can also connect English-language readers with the heart of Japan." --Chopsticks NY 

"The teen protagonists are written with sympathy and intuition, and the stories are all executed with confidence. . . . this collection was divided into ones I liked, and ones I liked more." --Asian Review of Books

"Tomo crosses genres, and it crosses genres in more than one way. People should take note of the fact that the book is not divided up into stories that are prose, poetry, or stories that are made up of images. Prose is mixed with poetry, poetry is mixed up with graphic art..." --Dig Boston 

"This collection of stories leaves the reader with an amazing sense of hope for the future of Japan....This is not only a great book commemorating the spirit of the Tohoku people, it is a darn good read, and the English book I would recommend first to anyone who wants to dip their toes into Japanese literature." --Perogies & Gyoza 

"There is plenty for adults to enjoy here, too." --JQ Magazine

"As the winds blow through the tales and understanding blossoms in the lives of teenage protagonists, a real live vision of hope, peace and renewal is formed which brings a full circle to the meaning of 'Friend'...In this ripe time for healing just before the one year anniversary of 3/11/2011, make a new friend--the book called Tomo." --Japan Visitor 


  1. I am so proud to have been a part of this project. And I'm looking forward to seeing the different effects and impact it will have on Tohoku, Japan and the rest of the world.

  2. Louise George KittakaMay 16, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I am also thrilled to have been involved, and have loved reading the positive feedback about the book!