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Around the World Through YA Literature: YA Novels Set in Japan

Travelling around the world is as easy as checking out a book! We’ll be featuring young adult novels set in different parts of the globe. Today we’re sharing books set in Japan, a nation made of over 6,000 islands.

 

Ink by Amanda Sun

InkInk is in their blood. On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building. When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him…and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life. Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan–and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

When You Were HereWhen his mother dies three weeks before his high school graduation, Danny goes to Tokyo, where his mother had been going for cancer treatments, to learn about the city his mother loved and, with the help of his friends, come to terms with her death.

 

 

The Language Inside by Holly Thompson

The Language InsideRaised in Japan, American-born tenth-grader Emma is disconcerted by a move to Massachusetts for her mother’s breast cancer treatment, because half of Emma’s heart remains with her friends recovering from the tsunami.

 

 

 

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn

Tokyo HeistAfter a high-profile art heist of three van Gogh drawings in her home town of Seattle, sixteen-year-old Violet Rossi finds herself in Japan with her artist father, searching for the related van Gogh painting.

 

 

 

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriot

Shadows on the MoonTrained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume, who is able to re-create herself in any form, is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot.

 

 

 

Look for more in our Around the World booklists spotlighting young adult novels set in faraway places! 

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