Mini-List of the Week: Japanese YA Books by Japanese Authors

 There are a lot of YA books that are inspired by or take elements from Japanese culture – but, incredibly, most of them aren’t by Japanese authors. Here are four Japanese YA books by Japanese authors.
tomo-holly-thompson-anthologyTomo: Friendship through Fiction edited by Holly Thompson
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Release date: March 6 2012
Authors from Japan and all around the world contributed to Tomo, an anthology named the Japanese word for “friend,” in order to support the Japanese non-profit Hope for Tomorrow.
the-twelve-kingdoms-sea-of-shadow-fuyumi-onoSea of Shadow (The Twelve Kingdoms #1) by Fuyumi Ono
Publisher: TokyoPop
Release date: March 13 2007
Yoko Nakajima’s life has been fairly ordinary until a ayoung man with golden hair whisks her away to an unearthly realm, leaving her with only a magical sword and a million questions about her destiny.

moribito-guardian-of-the-spirit-nahoko-uehashiGuardian of the Spirit (Moribito #1) by Nahoko Uehashi
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release date: June 1 2008
Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire until she rescued Prince Chagum from a river. Now her destiny is to protect him on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to the sea.

outside-beauty-cynthia-kadohataOutside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 3 2008
Shelby’s mother is a sexpot. She collects men from all over the country. She’s not your typical role model, but she lives life on her own terms, and Shelby and her sisters adore her – until their family is suddenly shredded apart.

 [EDIT] This list originally included The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco based on our research – but our research was wrong! We apologize (and a huge thanks to Rin for answering our emails about it). We’ve replaced The Girl in the Well with Outside Beauty by Canyhtia Kadohata. A big thanks to @wiIlowmoore on Twitter for the suggestion!
What Japanese YA books by Japanese YA authors would YOU add to this mini-list? Sound off in the comments below!
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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

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