The Night Parade

The Night Parade

Book - 2016
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When thirteen-year-old Saki Yamamoto unintentionally invokes a death curse, she must enter the dangerous spirit world at the Night Parade and attempt to perform deeds that can break the curse.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016
ISBN: 9781492623243
1492623245
Branch Call Number: FICTION Tan
Description: 332 pages ; 22 cm

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samcmar Jun 24, 2016

The Night Parade is one of those middle grade novels where the cover doesn't tell you much. It's beautiful, there's creatures, darkness, but that's only the tip of what this story is about. This is a book that explores Japanese culture and folklore, and it's one of those stories that does a fantastic job of immersing the reader from beginning to end.

This novel focuses on a young girl named Saki who is forced to go on vacation to her grandmother's remote village for the Obon ceremony. Leaving the glitz of Tokyo behind, Saki is forced to accept that she has no escape and no cellphone reception. She is told she had to make friends for the summer and suck it up. I have to say, I loved Saki. She's a bit bratty at times, but her plight of a potentially boring vacation is completely understandable. While she seems like a bit of a snot at the beginning of the novel, Tanquary does this amazing job of showing Saki's gradual growth and transformation in the story. She goes from being completely unappreciative of the world around her, to someone who begins to value it. Essentially this novel is about Saki proving her worth to both the human and spirit worlds.

When Saki defaces the her family's ancestral shrine (shame on her!) that is when the fun of the novel really begins. A fox, tengu, and tanuki, creatures of folklore begin to appear, and they plan to make Saki's life a bit more difficult. This novel is rich with beautiful descriptions and poses as a cautionary tale in a lot of ways. There are moments that feel dark and tense, and you get this huge sense that Saki has done so much wrong in defacing her ancestors, and yet you also see how remorseful she is as well. Her guides were cute, funny, and full of sass. I loved how they helped Saki in her journey and I thought how they were used in the story in terms of Japanese mythology was spot on.

This is one of those novels where I read it and adored it all the way through. The Night Parade is full of life and it's engaging not only for middle grade readers, but adults as well. While the writing is a tad simplistic, I appreciate a lot of the messages shared throughout the story. There is so much fun and adventure to be had reading The Night Parade and I definitely encourage lovers of middle grade to check it out.

KCLS_RobinH Mar 11, 2016

Picture Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli characters combined with Dickens's A Christmas Carol: this book begs to be made into a movie. While visiting her aging grandmother in the mountains, Saki Yamamoto stupidly answers a dare from local teens, and opens the gate between the living and spirit worlds. Can she lift the Death Curse within the three evenings of the Night Parade? Fast-paced, and full of fanciful characters, Saki learns much about family history, respect, and staying true to oneself. A solid middle-grade read.

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ayeshanuma1
Aug 08, 2016

"the night parade of course"

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