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Ichiro (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)) Hardcover – March 20, 2012


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Ichiro (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)) + Day of Tears
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Series: Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547252692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547252698
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Beautiful and thought-provoking; questions unanswered will linger in readers' minds."--Kirkus "Inzana uses separate visual styles throughout the book to indicate the human world, the spiritual world, and the shared past which resonates through them both.  While the action is at times chaotic, it is never confusing. The excitement and intensity kept me turning the pages, each one more exciting than the next. 

I was captivated by Ichiro from the first page.  It kept me guessing and presented me with more ideas and entertainment than I had predicted would come from this book. Make sure you get yourself a copy!"--Stumptown Trade Review

"The fluid, expressive brushwork brings the streets of New York City and mythical Japanese creatures to life, allowing the fantastical aspects to be both beautiful and vividly creepy."--Horn Book "Ichiro is a refreshingly honest, well-conceived narrative that is sure to delight, entertain and perhaps educate readers both young and old. Ryan Inzana masterfully integrates a difficult period in history with complicated mythologies and timeless social issues into an enjoyable fantasy adventure. His beautiful black-and-white brushwork is enviable in its fluidity and expressiveness. Whether he's tackling a tender moment between a single mother and her distant son at the dinner table or illustrating mystical battles between gods, his practiced skills shine through with the perfect tone."--Rations Magazine

"This is a graphic novel that explores the Asian American experience by blending modern, ancient, and fantastic elements."--School Library Journal

"Beautiful, full-color art abounds in the folkloric scenes, which sharply contrast with the black-and-white and occasionally sepia-toned reality of Ichiro’s day-to-day activities, in which dashes of bright color punctuate the action. Inzana brings home another powerful post-9/11 fable, directed this time to a younger audience than he targeted with Johnny Jihad (2003). Ichiro asks the hard questions for readers but challenges them to arrive at their own conclusion.."--Booklist

"Inzana mixes the mystery with the matter-of-fact in his lively artwork, creating a mood of enlightenment throughout and offering an insight into Japanese culture with a maximum of imagination."--Publishers Weekly "What really makes the book stand out is Inzana's mixed media artwork. It's a lush looking book, with rich details and a very thoughtful handling of the world Ichiro moves through. The book is somewhat broken up visually, with mythology told in full and rich color, while the present day is told in a muted set of greens and the mythological world Ichiro finds himself color coded based on mythology (a subtle nod to Oz, assumedly), an element that makes sense the more you read the book. In one large hardcover book like this, it certainly makes for a beautiful collection of pages.

Both the personal storytelling from Inzana and the illustrations go a long way to selling the title, and it's familiar yet new all the same tale of a boy discovering his ancestry amount to quite a wonderful read, and it's certainly an early contender for graphic novel of the year; a compelling story sure to wow and impress on many levels."--Multiversity Comics.com

About the Author

Ryan Inzana is an illustrator and comic artist whose work has appeared in numerous magazines, ad campaigns, books, and various other media all over the world. Ichiro is his second graphic novel. He lives in New Jersey, with his wife. Visit his website at www.ryaninzana.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
This book has a great story line and unbelievable illustrations!
leofire
So many missed opportunities with this book, it felt as if the author had written it in a stream-of-consciousness mode rather than plotting out each part of the story.
Miss Sam, the Librarian
Lovely book that I shared with my nephews, who really got into it.
RRSI

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Ichiro" is exactly why I like comics. Ryan Inzana makes skillful use of the medium to weave a compelling story of Japanese mythology, race relations, family relations, and the folly of war. With his clean and simple visuals he describes complex ideals and deep emotional truths that wouldn't have had the same impact in novel form.

On the surface, Inzana mixes the ancient fairy tale of the Tanuki Teakettle with a contemporary--and very real--story of a young half-Japanese boy named Ichiro, who has suddenly had his world upturned. Hi American father died long ago in the Iraq war, and his Japanese mother, struggling to make a living in the U.S., takes Ichiro back to Japan and contemplates returning to a country Ichiro barely knows. While his mother interviews for a job, Ichiro is thrust together with a Grandfather he doesn't remember, who takes the boy on a tour of Japan, from Tokyo down through Hiroshima and ending in Izumo to witness the Kami Mukae festival where all of the gods of Japan gather once a year to meet in Izumo Shrine. But along the way, Ichiro is flung into a fantasy world of magical creatures and yokai, Japanese monsters, and a war between Heaven and Hell.

One of the things that impressed me right away with "Ichiro" was its authenticity. I know nothing of Inzana's background or ethnicity, but he gives the feel of drawing from person experience and background knowledge for this comic. I did my Master's Degree in Japanese folklore in Hiroshima, and I was getting nostalgic looking at his artwork. Inzana also perfectly capture the awesome power of the Hiroshima Peace Park. It is very difficult to go there and come away unchanged.

Ichiro is certainly changed by the experience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sanoe.net VINE VOICE on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Ichiro" is a graphic novel by Ryan Inzana about Ichiro who was born and raised in the US by his Japanese mother who is returning to Japan to take a teaching position.

His mother has to go to Tokyo so Ichiro stays with his grandfather in Hiroshima.

There are so many things that I love about this graphic novel. First of all the art is my favorite kind. Sketchy yet clear; reminiscent of the Japanese art but not a copycat.

Second, I love how genuine the characters are. Kumiko, the mother, who is returning home as a single mother (Ichiro's American father died when he was young) and she's struggling like many single moms but she's not someone to feel sorry for. Ichiro's grandfather, Sato, was my big surprise. I don't know why I expected him to be a curmudgeonly Japanese man but I did. But he's so much better. Warm, funny, understanding. He's the perfect point and counterpoint to Ichiro. And finally, Ichiro, a young man who isn't caught between two cultures but just trying to figure out how he fits in. He's likable and engaging in that he's a kid who has certain ideas and is learning that his ideas may need some adjusting. His ambivalence about eating fish (prepared with the head still on) is a wonderful example. I really like his relationship with his mother and grandfather.

And lastly, the plot and how Inzana lets that plot unfold is great. Inzana opens with the story of a tanuki teapot that becomes a sideshow of sorts then is forgotten. He then moves to modern NYC where Ichiro and his mother are preparing to leave for Japan. The sense of magic is put on hold as his grandfather takes him sightseeing and to the Peace Shrine of Hiroshima that prompts an interesting and empathetic discussion on country and deeds done in war.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loren w Christensen VINE VOICE on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed the modern day first and last parts of the book, moreso than the middle portion that dealt with the land of gods and fantasy. That's just me so I'm not marking the book down because of my taste.

The art is wonderful and often presented in the same way that a movie director frames a scene, and how he reminds the viewer via long shots as to where the scene is occurring.

I'm guessing the artist has a teenage boy because he does an excellent job depicting teen boredom, angst, and impatience.

Good story, educational in a fun way, with art that offers wonderful escapism.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In feudal Japan, two men come upon a very special thing: a teapot that turns out to be a shapeshifter. They strike a deal with the shapeshifter in order to put on shows for dazzled crowds. Soon, they're both rich and quite happy. But, as with all things, that only lasts so long. Eventually, the men die and the story of their great, magical teapot show turns into a legend.

The shapeshifting teapot, however, is real, and it gets passd down from generation to generation in one of the men's families. Flashforward to present day, where a young boy named Ichiro is living with his mother in New York City. Ichiro is a boy with a lot of hostility and anger pent up inside. His father has died in war, and his paternal grandfather has filled his head with notions of terrorists and fear.

When Ichiro's mother must make a business trip to Japan, she decides to bring Ichiro along so that he can get to know his maternal grandfather. Ichiro will stay with his grandfather while his mother works in the city.

But Ichiro is soon pulled into a strange, mythical world of Japanese gods, where he is placed in the center of an epic battle. What follows is brilliantly captivating fantasy, a boldly told and vividly realized book that is wholly original and yet a wonderfully evocative tribute to classic comics (at least, that's what I take from the pages of Ryan Inzana's masterful work: They seem, so often, to evoke imagery from comics' Golden Age, a touch I absolutely loved).

Inzana has created a great story for young adults here. It's a sweeping adventure that dazzled me with its thought-provoking and compelling storytelling. This book is highly recommended.

Reviewed by John Hogan
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