In her poignant debut graphic novel inspired by her own life, Emily Bowen Cohen embraces the complexity, meaning, and deep love that comes from being part of two vibrant tribes.
Mia is still getting used to living with her mom and stepfather, and to the new role their Jewish identity plays in their home. Feeling out of place at home and at her Jewish day school, Mia finds herself thinking more and more about her Muscogee father, who lives with his new family in Oklahoma. Her mother doesn’t want to talk about him, but Mia can’t help but feel like she’s missing a part of herself without him in her life.
Soon, Mia makes a plan to use the gifts from her bat mitzvah to take a bus to Oklahoma—without telling her mom—to visit her dad and find the connection to her Muscogee side she knows is just as important as her Jewish side.
This graphic novel by Muscogee-Jewish writer and artist Emily Bowen Cohen is perfect for fans of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. It is published by Heartdrum, an imprint that centers stories about contemporary Indigenous young people.
Praise for Two Tribes
"The story is well crafted, with Jewish and Muscogee beliefs integrated to great effect and art that enhances the text. A powerful graphic novel about honoring every part of our identity." — Kirkus Reviews
"In Mia’s struggle to reconcile her ancestries, the creator develops a credible portrayal of self-image and acceptance. Plentiful panels rendered in earth tones further enhance this nuanced portrait of Mia’s search for identity." — Publishers Weekly
"The narrative about the rich diversity within the Native community is as vibrantly told as it is drawn, in lightly textured, saturated warm tones and dark linework. Readers who enjoyed LaPensée’s Rabbit Chase or Fahmy’s Huda F Are You? will not want to miss Mia’s journey." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books