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Shelley Tanaka is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended).Tanaka teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario."
"Akira looked around the apartment. At the garbage, the mess. The filthy sheets and quilts that they couldn t wash anymore because there was no water. At Shige s dirty feet, Kyoko clutching their mother s blouse with the white flowers on it. At Yuki s big, big eyes just staring at him." from the book" "That blindness is the shocking part of the story, and with lucid, simple prose and occasional black-and-white photos from the film, this novel will raise universal questions: what could be happening on your street?" Booklist "Well-chosen black-and-white photographic stills from the film deepen the novel's breathtaking realism." The Horn Book "
Gr 6-9-Based on a true story and made into a film by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, this novelization is powerful and disturbing. Twelve-year-old Akira Fukushima must care for his three younger siblings after being abandoned by their irresponsible mother in their Tokyo apartment. Supplied, although infrequently, with money in the mail from her, Akira must budget, cook, and shop, all while keeping his siblings hidden in their home/prison. The last admonishment given by their mother was to stay out of sight and make no noise. (The landlord does not allow children in the building.) Through haunting prose, Tanaka takes readers inside the head of young Akira as he struggles to maintain the lives of the family. Without food, electricity, heat, or water, tragedy strikes. In a deeply moving, starkly realistic ending, readers are left wondering, How could this happen? The book provides no answers. For mature readers, this story might lend itself to a discussion of what the children could have done to get help. An additional discussion could center on the social responsibility of the community in which the children lived.-D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.