We are excited to share that HALFWAY THERE: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR OF SELF-DISCOVERY by Christine Mari is a Junior Library Guild selection!

Every year, JLG’s renowned editors curate selections for 80+ reading level and genre categories. All Librarian’s have to do is simply subscribe to the categories they’d like JLG’s help developing and, voila!, they’ll receive brand-new books in those categories every month, all year long.

And now HALFWAY THERE: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR OF SELF-DISCOVERY has been curated as one of those exciting books available!

HALFWAY THERE is a poignant young adult graphic memoir that follows one teen’s year abroad in Japan, as she seeks to reconcile both sides of her biracial identity.

Christine has always felt she is just half: Half American, half Japanese. As a biracial Japanese American who was born in Tokyo but raised in the US, she knows all too well what it’s like to be a part of two different worlds but never feeling as though you belong to either.

Now on the brink of adulthood, Christine decides it’s time to return to the place she once called home. So she sets forth on a year abroad in Tokyo, believing that this is where she truly belongs. After years of feeling like an outsider, now she will finally be complete. 

Except…Tokyo isn’t the answer she thought it would be. Instead of fitting in, Christine finds herself a fish out of water, as being half of two cultures isolates her in ways she’d never imagined. All she can do is try to stay afloat for the rest of the year—still figuring out who she is, what she wants in life, and whether she’ll ever truly be more than halfway there. 

Author-illustrator Christine Mari explores what it means to lose and find yourself in this moving narrative of belonging and home. 

Christine is represented by Samantha Haywood.