Gr 5-8-When Hannah's writer mother travels from Australia to Japan to do research for a new book, she takes her reluctant daughter with her. While Liana travels throughout the country, the 12-year-old stays with her mother's friends, the Maekawas. She is able to converse with the family as she spent time in Japan when she was younger and has been studying Japanese at school. Hannah is soon swept up in a mystery with her new friend, Miki Maekawa. Opening an old toy box, the family finds a riddle that appears to be an appeal for help from "the ocean boy," a lost soul seeking peace. The girls and their friend Hiro set out to solve the riddle, traveling to markets, temples, shrines, and an ancient castle and meeting people from the past who aid or hinder their quest. Following the realistic and likable characters on their journey gives insight into the beauty of Japanese culture and tradition, and the fast-paced action as the children figure out the clues will appeal to many readers.-Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.