Girls' Guide to the Islands


Product Details

$10.00  $9.30
Gemma Open Door
Publish Date
4.2 X 6.9 X 0.3 inches | 0.25 pounds

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About the Author

Suzanne Kamata is the author of the award-winning young adult novel Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible, and the author or editor of a range of books. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Tokushima, Japan, with her family, and teaches EFL at Tokushima University. Suzanne holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia


"Heart-lifting and inspiring, A Girls' Guide to the Islands explores the restorative and often-unexpected way that travel breeds connection not only with the world around us, but within ourselves and--most importantly--each other.

--Nicole Trilivas, author of Girls Who Travel--Nicole Trilivas "Gemma Open Door for Literacy"
Touring art museums with a teenager may not sound like everyone's idea of a good time, and at the beginning of this pocket-sized memoir, Shikoku-based writer Suzanne Kamata finds herself wondering how she can renege on a promise to take her daughter to a Yayoi Kusama art exhibit in Osaka.

Traveling for the duo is fraught with more than the typical difficulties: Kamata, an American, uses sign language to communicate with her daughter, who copes with hearing challenges and gets around by wheelchair. However, after the Osaka trip is successful, Kamata vows to take advantage of her daughter's burgeoning interest in art and embarks on a mother-daughter odyssey to visit some of the stunning exhibits scattered around the islands of Japan's Inland Sea.

In the process the pair build more than memories, as seeing things through her daughter's eyes is a catalyst for new discoveries and self-reflection for the author. Meanwhile, her daughter emerges as a character in her own right, as colorful as Kusama's famous dotted pumpkins.

This book offers multiple perspectives that would appeal to anyone interested in travel, art, accessibly issues or parent-teen relationships. Kamata's style is as fresh and breezy as the winds that whip the islands she writes about.

As the book closes, Kamata offers the bittersweet observance that her daughter, now in her mid-teens, is gravitating more toward friends than family, making Kamata all the more glad she made the effort to travel together. Kamata's fans are likely to be grateful, too.--Louise George Kittaka "The Japan Times"
"A Girls' Guide to the Islands follows author Suzanne Kamata's journey with her daughter, Lilia, into the remote realm of the Seto Inland Sea's world-class art collection. Beautiful in its directness and honesty, A Girls' Guide examines the nature of accessibility and independence as Kamata and Lilia face challenges physical, emotional and artistic. The trip yields unexpected, occasionally amusing adventures as the two women explore new landscapes as well as their own changing relationship.

--Kelly Luce, author of Pull Me Under--Kelly Luce "Gemma Open Door for Literacy"
[A Girls' Guide to the Islands] is a young adult book which beautifully captures the unique scenery and special features of each place Kamata and her daughter visit. But also one which vividly portrays life in Japan with a disabled child. Kamata challenges assumptions about disabled people and the obstacles they face with everything from the restroom to the art gallery. By the end ..., readers find themselves back home again, full of memories from an unforgettable journey.--Joan Bailey "Metropolis Magazine (Japan)"