Fifteen-year-old Aiko Cassidy, a bicultural girl with cerebral palsy, grew up in Michigan with her single mother. For as long as she could remember, it was just the two of them. When a new stepfather and a baby half sister enter her life, she finds herself on the margins. Having recently come into contact with her biological father, she is invited to spend the summer with his indigo-growing family in a small Japanese farming village. Aiko thinks she just might fit in better in Japan. If nothing else, she figures the trip will inspire her manga story, Gadget Girl.
However, Aiko’s stay in Japan is not quite the easygoing vacation that she expected. Her grandmother is openly hostile toward her, and she soon learns of painful family secrets that have been buried for years. Even so, she takes pleasure in meeting new friends. She is drawn to Taiga, the figure skater who shows her the power of persistence against self-doubt. Sora is a fellow manga enthusiast who introduces Aiko to a wide circle of like-minded artists. And then there is Kotaro, a refugee from the recent devastating earthquake in northeastern Japan.
As she gets to know her biological father and the story of his break with her mother, Aiko begins to rethink the meaning of family and her own place in the world.
"The narrator of Suzanne Kamata's Indigo Girl is a force to be reckoned with. Her strength seems to come from her resilience, a great example for all readers. The physical challenges she has learned to live with have made her a strong, thoughtful, very relatable teenager navigating all the struggle of getting to know a father she doesn't remember, in a country she doesn't know."
-- Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and A Step Towards Falling.
“Indigo Girl is a moving coming-of-age story that transports you to a rural Japanese farmland through the eyes of a half-Japanese teen who falls in love, gets to know her estranged father, and also just happens to have cerebral palsy. I give this book all the hearts.” ―Margaret Dilloway, Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters and The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns
"Through the adventures of Aiko Cassidy, Kamata’s winsome and highly relatable teen narrator, the reader explores our increasingly multicultural, multilingual, multiracial, and multi-abled world. Get ready to fall in love with this plucky heroine as she travels to Japan in search of the true meaning of family and friendship." --Chandra Prasad, author of Damselfly