The Cooke Agency

Hiromi Goto
Half World


Half World by Hiromi GotoMelanie Tamaki is an outsider.

Unpopular and impoverished, she is the only child of a loving but neglectful mother. She barely copes with surviving school and life. But everything changes on the day she returns home to find her mother is missing, lured back to Half World by a vile creature calling himself Mr. Glueskin. Soon Melanie embarks on an epic and darkly fantastical journey to Half World to save her mother. What she does not yet realize is that the state of the universe is at stake....

Award-winning author Hiromi Goto’s novel is an adventurous, genre-bending fantasy of shape-shifting characters, tortured half lives, and redemption.

Praise for Hiromi Goto’s Half World:

Winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award
Winner of the 2010 Sunburst Award, YA Category

Longlisted for the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel
A 2010 White Pine Award nominee
YALSA 2010 Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee

Longlisted for the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

“It’s just wonderful. Buy one for yourself, one for a reading friend, and one for a girl, who might not know yet just how much she needs to read this. Then read it. And then you’ll understand exactly how thrilled I was to hear her say that she’s working on a companion novel.” —Buried in Print

“Fresh and intriguing.... The growth of the heroine and the clean narrative arc, which careens from one vivid, surreal scene to the next, should captivate readers.” —The Horn Book

“Goto has created an unusual fantasy horror novel that’s something like a Gaiman tale with a dash of Asian magic. Readers who want a different kind of fantasy and who like a villain who makes the skin crawl should enjoy this quick read.” —School Library Journal

“A fast-moving and provocative journey with cosmically high stakes, and one that should readily appeal to fans of dark, nightmarish fantasy.” —Publishers Weekly

“The richly flavored, often gruesome despair of the worldbuilding is enriched beautifully by Tamaki’s evocative illustrations, in which the contrasts between light and darkness mirror the tale’s thematic concerns. Hopeful and beautifully strange.” —Kirkus Reviews

Half World is a haunting combination of a coming-of-age novel and a spiritual quest, a mad funhouse of horrors and a tale of redemption and love. Wonderfully odd, and quite unforgettable.” —Neil Gaiman

“In Half World, readers are taken on a thrilling, poignant adventure where Eastern and Western mythologies are woven together. Commonwealth award-winning author Hiromi Goto has created a dark, otherworldly page-turner that will most certainly appeal to young adult readers regardless of whether they are speculative fiction enthusiasts. Goto’s elegant prose is graced by about a dozen black and white illustrations by the award-winning Jillian Tamaki. Her brush and ink illustrations superbly capture Melanie’s journey and the turmoil of the Half World. Goto has created an absolutely riveting tale that moves with cinematic pacing and vividness. Half World is nothing short of a masterpiece.” —Canadian Children’s Book News

“This rich, elegant, and compelling novel dives in with a life-or-death chase scene, pauses in the middle to allow readers a glimpse into what it would truly mean to keep reliving your worst moments of life, and then ends with a most remarkable and unlikely rebirth that offers hope for all, including the most twisted souls the protagonist encounters. Goto is unwaveringly sympathetic and careful even with her minor, most seemingly evil characters … [and] Tamaki’s stunning interspersed black-and-white illustrations effectively reflect elements of the bleak, sapped worlds … through which Melanie must travel to save everyone, working against nearly impossible odds.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Half World is Boschean delight à la Goto: a magical, madcap, and deliciously creepy tale of tribulations, terror and triumph; a girl-power adventure in screaming jelly-toned colours.” —Nalo Hopkinson, author of The New Moon’s Arms

“Myths and monsters, love and terror—Hiromi Goto is a master storyteller!” —Ellen Klages, author of The Green Glass Sea

“Half World is an absolute treasure of a book, one of those hidden gems that deserves as wide an audience as possible.” —Charles de Lint, author of The Blue Girl

Genre/Category: YA fantasy fiction
Length: 224 pp

World rights, Penguin Canada
      French rights, BAAM
      Polish rights, Wydawnictwo MAG
      US rights, Viking Penguin
For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

Hiromi Goto
Photo credit: Kiely Ramos

HIROMI GOTO was born in Chiba-ken, Japan, and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1969. Her first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms, examined the immigration experience and was the 1995 regional winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book and co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award. She is also the author of a children's novel, The Water of Possibility, another adult novel, The Kappa Child, which was the 2001 recipient of the James Tiptree Jr., Award, the short story collection Hopeful Monsters, the Sunburst Award-winning Half World and, most recently, the acclaimed Darkest Light. Visit her at or on Twitter @hinganai


Darkest Light