Himawari House

  • Type: Books
  • By: Harmony Becker
  • Age Category: Teens
  • Genre: General Fiction, Graphic Novels
  • Recommended by: Seoung K.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781250235572
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Finding Home Abroad

Himawari House is a graphic novel about a group of friends studying abroad in Japan. Nao is a mixed Japanese student trying to reconnect to her heritage, and Hyejung and Tina come from Korea and Singapore respectively looking for something new. The three of them bond over romance, language struggles, and K-dramas. The expressive art manages to capture the strange feeling of diaspora, returning to a country where you feel like you should belong. The characters are sweet and funny and I loved seeing the mix of languages on the page.

Some of the characters’ accents are rendered phonetically, and at first I was thrown off by this, but the author’s note at the end clarified things for me—she wanted to normalize Asian-accented English and create a positive portrayal that she did not see in most media. Overall a really lovely read. Fans of Almost American Girl by Robin Ha and similar realistic graphic novels will enjoy this coming-of-age story.