Temple Alley ­Summer

Yonder. Jul. 2021. 240p. Tr $18. ISBN 9781632063038.
Gr 3-7–It all starts with a ghost story show on TV one night, a show self-proclaimed scaredy-cat Kazuhiro Sada knows he has no business watching. Late that night, Kazu sees a pale figure sneaking out of his family’s altar room. Could it be a ghost? Then he sees the same figure in his class the very next day—a girl known as Akari who all of his friends insist he’s known since kindergarten. When he learns the street he and Akari live on used to be called Kimyo Temple Alley, a name that implies the dead coming back to life, Kazu’s sure something fishy is going on. But as he spends the summer delving deeper into this mystery and befriending Akari, things will become even more complicated and strange than he could’ve imagined. A humorous yet thoughtful mystery chock-full of the fantastical, this is a must-read for young fans of Studio Ghibli—an especially warranted comparison, as another book by Kashiwaba served as inspiration for Spirited Away. Lovingly translated into English from the original 2011 text, this version is completely accessible to an English-language audience while retaining a classic Japanese sensibility and storytelling style. All characters default as Japanese.
VERDICT An excellent choice for fantasy lovers of all ages, particularly those who enjoy magical realism and a dose of the supernatural. Highly recommended.

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