From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–This volume continues the story of Nitori Shuichi, a girl who wants to be a boy named Takatsuki Yoshino, and the friends and rivals who enhance and complicate their lives. The characters are reintroduced in the opening pages (in “The Wandering Son Board Game”), which are illustrated in color. This story intersperses the real-life drama taking place between the youngsters at home and in the classroom with the stories that Shu writes in which he imagines himself as a “tragic heroine.” The story is filled with mixed signals, rumors, unrequited love, boys and girls fighting over one another, and love-hate relationships. Add to this the gender confusion felt by the main characters, and the romantic tensions become even more complicated. And as the characters get ready to enter middle school, with its gender-specific uniforms, each one is being pushed to conform to society's standards. The illustrations are mostly done in a straightforward manga style, but periodically scenes are suddenly elevated to a cinematic level with dramatically faded backgrounds. Tatako's artwork definitely enhances the story, with the black-and-white pages conveying even more emotion and power than the color illustrations. Even though these books focus on middle-grade students, the story is told in such a thoughtful and mature way, featuring lots of interior monologues and character exploration, that will go over the heads that audience. Fans of the earlier books will want to read this volume and the rest of the books in this series to see how the different characters' relationships with on another evolve over time.–Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
Shimura Takako lives in Tokyo, Japan.