In her new book, ” Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible,” award-winning author Suzanne Kamata shows her young audience that invisibility is not always a superpower, and becoming a young adult is not always easy.
gemmamedia, Young adult fiction.
Aiko is a teenage girl with cerebral palsy who serves as a “muse” for her sculptor mother, while trying hard to stay “invisible” from those around her. She yearns to meet the Japanese father she has never met, expressing herself in a manga she creates titled “Gadget Girl.” Having grown up hoping for the approval of her father, Aiko tries to grow her own indigo plant, but unlike her manga the plant never really flourishes.
When the possibility arises that her mother may head to to Japan for the summer, Aiko hopes she can finally meet her dad and join him on the family’s indigo farm. But instead Aiko’s mother get a chance to show her work in Paris, taking Aiko from her small town in Michigan to the fashion capital of the world. While there, Aiko’s life starts to change: She meets a boy who sees beyond her disability, and on her 15th birthday her mom finally tells her the truth about her father. Aiko also begins to understand her dream of becoming a manga artist is possible. She realizes that being invisible may not always be that great, and that having cerebral palsy, which has played a key part in her mother’s artwork, is not all that bad. She also starts to realize that the people who do actually want to be in your life are the ones that are most important. This coming-of-age story is a great read for any young-adult and demonstrates that growing up is not a cookie-cutter process.