Diary of a Tokyo Teen: A Japanese-American Girl Travels to the Land of Trendy Fashion, High-Tech Toilets and Maid Cafes

Christine Mari Inzer. Tuttle, $14.99 ISBN 978-4-8053-1396-1
Inzer drew this graphic novel, newly expanded and colored, on a two-month summer trip to Japan when she was in high school; an earlier self-published version, published in 2014 as Halfway Home, generated impressive buzz. Each short, punchy episode combines drawings, photos, observations, and guides: who’s who in Japanese TV comedy, typical festival snacks, etc. Though Inzer’s mother is Japanese, Inzer grew up in the U.S., and she’s always conscious of living between two cultures. Her Japanese grandmother resists letting her explore Tokyo on her own, but Inzer persists, only to find that creepy guys sometimes harass her (“Look disgusted!” Inzer instructs readers. “Death stare!”). At the same time, she’s attracted to boys her age (she beams a thought toward a cool boy on the subway: “Love me!”); sadly, the boys are all glued to their phones. In one sequence, Inzer pictures herself holding conversations with her 10-year-old self (inspecting a coquettish dress, little Christine sighs, “I wish Mom would let us wear this stuff!”). Readers won’t just want to go to Japan by the end of this memoir—they’ll want to go with Inzer. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-4629-1876-8
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