Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible

Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible

4.6 3
by Suzanne Kamata
     
 

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Anna and the French Kiss meets Stoner & Spaz in a contemporary young adult coming-of-age novel about a girl, her struggles, and her art.

Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother's muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for

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Overview

Anna and the French Kiss meets Stoner & Spaz in a contemporary young adult coming-of-age novel about a girl, her struggles, and her art.

Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother's muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her mother famous. Aiko works hard on her own dream of becoming a great manga artist with a secret identity. When Aiko's mother invites her to Paris for a major exhibition of her work, Aiko at first resists. She'd much rather go to Japan, Manga Capital of the World, where she might be able to finally meet her father, the indigo farmer. When she gets to France, however, a hot waiter with a passion for manga and an interest in Aiko makes her wonder if being invisible is such a great thing after all.
 
 
Gadget Girl began as a novella published in Cicada. The story won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction and was included in an anthology of the best stories published in Cicada over the past ten years. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fifteen-year-old manga artist Aiko Cassidy begins a life of her own when her mother, famous for her sculptures of Aiko, wins a major award, and they move from Michigan to the City of Lights for the summer. Aiko is obsessed with meeting her estranged father, an indigo farmer in Japan, but Paris’s diversity and creative atmosphere prove to be a welcome and even inspirational substitute. There, she teams up with Hervé, a dashing 16-year-old waiter with similarly big dreams, who admires Aiko and her art and helps her negative self-image (as a klutzy, biracial girl with cerebral palsy) to fade away. In addition, Aiko improves her relationship with her mother, discovers family secrets, and gains the freedom to be herself. Kamata’s love and intimate knowledge of Paris streets add atmosphere to this smart and surprising coming-of-age story, the author’s first book for teens (it was developed from a novella previously published in Cicada magazine). Readers will feel whisked away by the romance of an artistic life and appreciate the sensitivity and honesty with which Kamata writes about Aiko’s physical and emotional journeys. Ages 12�up. (May)
From the Publisher
"Kamata’s love and intimate knowledge of Paris streets add atmosphere to this smart and surprising coming-of-age story. Readers will feel whisked away by the romance of an artistic life and appreciate the sensitivity and honesty with which Kamata writes about Aiko’s physical and emotional journeys." —Publishers Weekly

"Originally a novella published in the magazine Cicada and the winner of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction, Kamata’s latest is a sharp, unusual coming-of-age novel.
For Aiko Cassidy, it’s hard enough sitting at the “invisible” table and dealing with trespassing geeks. It’s harder when her cerebral palsy makes guys notice her in all the wrong ways. Even worse, Aiko’s mother, Laina, uses her as a model for her sculptures. For privacy, Aiko conceals herself in manga; her alter ego, Gadget Girl, can rescue cute guys and tie her shoes. Aiko dreams of traveling to Japan to meet her favorite artists—and, perhaps, her father. When a sculpture of Aiko wins her and Laina a trip to Paris instead, Aiko meets handsome Hervé and discovers a startling view of her family. Kamata writes the intricacies of cerebral palsy—the little maneuvers of cooking, the jerk of an arm betraying emotion—as deftly as Aiko draws or Laina sculpts. Aiko’s awkwardness is palpable, as are her giddy crush and snarky observations. Some points remain realistically unresolved, in keeping with the garden metaphors throughout the book: “You’re not supposed to be able to see the whole thing at once. Most Japanese gardens are revealed little by little....”
Awkwardly and believably, this sensitive novel reveals an artistic teen adapting to family, disability and friendships in all their flawed beauty." —Kirkus

"Suzanne Kamata has created a memorable character in Aiko, a unique girl balancing the desire to be ordinary and extraordinary. Though she's dealing with some difficult obstacles in her life, her desire is particularly relevant and universal to the adolescent experience. An absorbing tale about adversity, art, love, and the courage to accept one's self and others. A pleasure to read!"
-Veera Hiranandani, author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl

"Spunky heroine with big dreams? Check! Trip to Paris? Check! Hot French waiter? Check! Gadget Girl has everything a reader like me could wish for, and more. I love this story."
-Tamara Ireland Stone, author of Time Between Us
 
"Suzanne Kamata beautifully captures the essence of what it feels like when you're learning to be who you already are." 
-Andrea J. Buchanan, author of the multimedia YA title Gift and co-author, The Daring Book for Girls

"Anyone who has ever longed to come into their own will love Gadget Girl."
-Leza Lowitz, author of Jet Black and The Ninja Wind
 

Kirkus Reviews
Originally a novella published in the magazine Cicada and the winner of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction, Kamata's latest is a sharp, unusual coming-of-age novel. For Aiko Cassidy, it's hard enough sitting at the "invisible" table and dealing with trespassing geeks. It's harder when her cerebral palsy makes guys notice her in all the wrong ways. Even worse, Aiko's mother, Laina, uses her as a model for her sculptures. For privacy, Aiko conceals herself in manga; her alter ego, Gadget Girl, can rescue cute guys and tie her shoes. Aiko dreams of traveling to Japan to meet her favorite artists--and, perhaps, her father. When a sculpture of Aiko wins her and Laina a trip to Paris instead, Aiko meets handsome Hervé and discovers a startling view of her family. Kamata writes the intricacies of cerebral palsy--the little maneuvers of cooking, the jerk of an arm betraying emotion--as deftly as Aiko draws or Laina sculpts. Aiko's awkwardness is palpable, as are her giddy crush and snarky observations. Some points remain realistically unresolved, in keeping with the garden metaphors throughout the book: "You're not supposed to be able to see the whole thing at once. Most Japanese gardens are revealed little by little...." Awkwardly and believably, this sensitive novel reveals an artistic teen adapting to family, disability and friendships in all their flawed beauty. (Fiction. 13-17)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936846382
Publisher:
GemmaMedia
Publication date:
05/17/2013
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
735,638
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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