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Hachiko Waits Hardcover – September 9, 2004


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Hachiko Waits + Hachi: A Dog's Tale
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805073361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805073362
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5–Newman adds characters and incidents to flesh out this true story of an Akita who became a national symbol for loyalty and hope by waiting–for 10 years–at a Japanese commuter train station for his dead master to return. Hachi accompanies Professor Ueno to Shibuya Station every morning, then returns at three o'clock to welcome him back. After his owner dies suddenly at work, the dog continues his afternoon vigil for the rest of his life, earning such notoriety that the honorific "ko" is attached to his name. After his death, a statue in his memory is erected near his accustomed spot on the platform. Newman gives Hachiko a young human friend, Yasuo, who over a span of years helps to provide the dog with food and water. He later proposes to his future wife under that statue. Kodaira's ink-and-wash illustrations feature a noble-looking pooch surrounded by human admirers. Although the dialogue tends to be stilted, this more-developed alternative to Pamela S. Turner's Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog (Houghton, 2004) will effectively draw readers.–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. Hachi, an Akita pup, reveres his master and likes nothing more than accompanying Japanese professor Eizaburo Ueno to his morning train and then meeting him in the afternoon. One day the professor dies while at work, yet the faithful Hachi awaits his return at the station every day until his own death some 10 years later. Newman's fictionalized account of this true story adds a young boy, Yasuo, who befriends the dog and the professor and later cares for Hachi during his steadfast vigil at the Shibuya, Japan, train station. Yasuo brings a childhood focus to the poignant story and keeps it from becoming overly depressing, and Kodaira's soft, black-and-white sketches help to break up the chapters for younger readers and add interest to the story. Aimed at an older audience than Pamela S. Turner's picture book Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog [BKL Ap 15 04], this will be popular with dog lovers; consider having a packet of tissues on hand. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Lesléa Newman is the author of 65 books for readers of all ages including the teen novel in verse, OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD; the middle grade novel, HACHIKO WAITS; the poetry collection, STILL LIFE WITH BUDDY; the short story collection, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK; and the children's books, A SWEET PASSOVER, THE BOY WHO CRIED FABULOUS, THE BEST CAT IN THE WORLD, RUNAWAY DREIDEL! and MATZO BALL MOON. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD was named an American Library Association 2013 Stonewall Honor Book, and A SWEET PASSOVER was named a 2013 Sydney Taylor Honor as well. A past poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, she is a faculty member of Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing program. Her newest forthcoming poetry collection, I CARRY MY MOTHER is a book-length cycle of poems that explores a daughter's journey through her mother's illness and death. From diagnosis through yahrtzeit (one-year anniversary), the narrator grapples with what it means to lose a mother. The poems, written in a variety of forms (sonnet, pantoum, villanelle, sestina, terza rima, haiku, and others) are finely crafted, completely accessible, and full of startling, poignant, and powerful imagery. These poems will resonant with all who have lost a parent, relative, spouse, friend, or anyone whom they dearly love.

Customer Reviews

My youngest son and I enjoyed reading this book together.
Russell Coble
A story that teaches young readers, as well as adults, an important lesson about life and death and commitment.
Ashley Witchek
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dogs and heartwarming stories.
Sheila

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Hachiko is a wonderful young puppy who lives with his master, Professor Ueno. Each morning the Professor tells Hachiko these same words, as he boards the train: "What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi you are the best dog in all of Japan." And every afternoon, at 3 o'clock on the dot, Hachiko arives back at the train station to greet his owner once again. However, one day, the Professor doesn't step off the train. So Hachiko waits. He waits for ten years. Not even the kind young boy known as Yasuo can persuade Hachiko to leave his post, and take shelter in a warm home. Soon Hachiko is known around the country, and the world, as the dog who never gave up on his owner's return.

I love animal stories, and I've always been interested in the Japanese culture, so I adored HACHIKO WAITS. Leslea Newman has done a marvelous job of capturing the love an animal - whether a dog, cat, etc. - holds for his or her owner, as long as they treat him/her well. The prose is wonderful, and will hold young readers enamored for hours, while the gorgeous black and white illustrations by Machiyo Kodaira bring the story even more to life. This is an absolute must read for all animal lovers.

Erika Sorocco
Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on April 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There is a statue of a dog in the Shibuya train station in Tokyo. It was first set in place in 1934 to commemorate the loyalty and devotion of an Akita who waited for his master for ten years. The master was a university teacher, who died unexpectedly at work. It was the Akita's habit to wait for his master's return from work then walk home together. Because he could not understand why his master did not return, he faithfully waited until he died in his place at the station, where the statue was erected in his honor. This is the dry version of a true story.

"What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi, you are the best dog in Japan." These are the words Professor Ueno speaks to his Akita everyday at the train station just before he departs for his teaching job at the university. And they are the last words Hachi ever hears the professor say. The dog waits until the station is closed and the train master encourages him to go outside the gate.

A little boy whom the professor befriends, Yasuo and his mother take the dog in, but Hachi is one of those rare one-master-only dogs. He escapes. No one knows where he goes during the day or night, but each afternoon at five minutes until three, Hachi reappears to wait until closing. This continues for ten years.

Meanwhile, people begin to notice Hachi. They pet him, worry about him, feed him, offer to take him, write newspaper stories about him, come from far and near just to see him. He becomes a symbol of the devoted, loyal dog, man's best friend. Through it all, Hachi remains calm, but most importantly, patient. He waits for his master.

Today, Hachi's story is told in Japanese schools all across the country.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hachiko, a beautiful golden brown Akita pup is the loved and revered pet of his owner, Professor Ueno. The curly tailed dog was named Hachi because Professor Ueno considered the Japanese character for the number of 8 fortunate. This is his 8th Akita and he feels the dog has very special qualities. Professor Ueno and his dog walked to the commuter station each morning. Hachiko would trot back to the Shibuya station every afternoon at 3:00. The station master said that one could set their clock by Hachiko.

In May of 1925, some 15 months after buying Hachiko, Professor Ueno died suddenly at work. His loyal dog continued to wait at the train station for him, even though others made overtures to him. The fictional subplot of Yasuo, a young boy who first sees the dog and meets Professor Ueno at age 5 and his partial ownership of the dog when his owner dies is moving and lovely. So are the beautiful illustrations that grace this book.

This is a wonderful book about cultural sharing; I like the way Japanese words are included along with a glossary and a thumbnail history of Japanese foods and traditions.

This is a beautiful book that might make you cry, but it is well worth the read. People of all ages will love the gentle Professor and his loyal Akita who never gave up waiting for his owner to return.

In 1935 Hachiko was immemorialized in statue form as the symbol of unflagging devotion. Hachiko, like another curly tailed dog, the malamute Balto, who in 1925 braved an Alaskan blizzard to bring in a shipment of medicine share a history of being immemorialized in statue form and were recognized for their unflagging spirits.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne C. Simpson on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It was a truly sad story. I enjoyed the kindness and dedicated love of man,dog and family. It was an easy read even I as an adult truly enjoyed. It was beautiful, everyone should read it. I enjoyed it for another reason. They filmed some of this story for the movie in my hometown of Woonsocket,R.I. I was able to see some of the shoots and re-doing our original train station to resemble the one in the book. It was fantastic. Loved it!
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