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Nobody Knows Hardcover – August 7, 2012
From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›