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Nobody Knows Hardcover – August 7, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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$16.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Based on a prize-winning Japanese film about a real contemporary family, this astonishing urban survival story tells of Akira, 12, who secretly cares for his three younger siblings in a small apartment in a nice Tokyo neighborhood. The building does not allow small children, so when they first move in, their single mom smuggles in the two youngest kids with a box and a suitcase, and the kids are never allowed outside the apartment. Mom comes and goes and sometimes leaves money from various boyfriends; then she does not come back. Akira’s dream is to go to school, but instead he shops, cooks, scrounges in the neighborhood for necessities and money, and pays the bills at the bank machine until the money is gone and the electricity is cut off. The kids worry about being caught and separated, but no one seems to notice. 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? Grades 6-10. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 580L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554981409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554981403
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,894,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By CMM on April 17, 2016
Format: Hardcover
A heartbreakingly true story written in a compelling and equally heartrending way!
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Format: Hardcover
A little bit of research can go a long way towards shaping one's impression of a book. An hour ago, I felt sick after reading Nobody Knows, a novelization by Shelley Tanaka of a Japanese film that is set in Tokyo. The story is so appalling that I never wanted to read anything again by the author. Now that I know the story is inspired by true events, I better understand why Tanaka made her choices and I would like to see the film. I still don't care for the book.

Tanaka explains in an interview that each time she tried to expand upon the film it felt false and so finally decided if she could "transfer the film to the page, then the reader would bring the rest, the same way the viewer does to the film." This was certainly true for me, due to the objectivity of the writing which held me at a distance from the characters. Only near the end, when the mom fails to return for Christmas and the unpaid bills increase, does Tanaka portray a little of the oldest boy's desperation, at which point I finally began to feel an emotional connection with the children. There are authors who have helped me better understand poverty and abandonment, and even propelled me to take action, because they have elected to take me inside the head of at least their main character. Tanaka has not, which I think is a mistake.

However, I might have accepted Tanaka's decision, if not for the conclusion. She asserts that Nobody Knows ends with hope because the children find a way to survive. However, I can't fathom how a particularly shocking event in one chapter can be followed by the children smiling over a coin in the next. Because I couldn't discern any definable passage of time, the conclusion left me sick in a disgusted way. Which isn't good.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If u have a heart strap on an otterbox or get urs shattered
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