Tsunami girl

Tsunami Girl by Julian Sedgwick & Chie Kutsuwada

Fifteen-year-old Yuki is struggling at school with her confidence, and goes to Japan to stay with her grandfather, a well-known manga artist and to whom she is very close. But during her visit, a calamitous event occurs – the East Coast Earthquake and Tsunami – and her beloved Grandpa is lost.

Yuki and her friend Taka must make sense of the terrible situation and come to terms with the loss of their life as they knew it – and see that through renewal and with resilience, they can emerge from this tragedy with optimism for the future.

Interwoven with Japanese folk tales, modern-day ghost stories, and the creation of her very own vibrant manga hero, Yuki finds the courage to overcome extraordinary odds, and take her first steps into the world that lies beyond catastrophe.


Shannon year 9

9th February 2022 at 10:56 am

I loved this book. I liked the characters and I liked the manga and how it told its own story. I wasn’t really expecting the ending. It had a good pacing and I liked the moments between Yūki and Taka together. Yūki had no confidence at all when she went back to the UK but when she went back to Osoma and she met Taka she had a lot of bravery to keep going through the destruction.

Charlotte, year 8

2nd February 2022 at 4:25 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ was an okay book, it wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t really get stuck into this one unlike the other books. It had a few fascinating events, but nothing in ‘Tsunami Girl’ made me want to carry on reading as much as the other SSBA books.

I found that it was quite slow paced and because of that I found it slightly boring.

On the back of the book, it said ‘Tsunami Girl’ was part prose, part manga, so I thought there would be more manga in the book but there weren’t many manga parts. But I enjoyed the manga that was included even though they were quite short.

I would recommend this book to 8 and up because any children younger may fear tsunamis after reading it. And older ages may find it more interesting.

Tom, Year 8

2nd February 2022 at 4:25 pm

I loved the book ‘Tsunami Girl’ for its references to Japanese culture like the fox on the cover representing the nine tails fox in Japanese mythology because I love art (and hope to be an artist myself when I’m older). I loved the manga style illustrations that Chie Kutsuwada gives to this book and adding a manga illustrator into the actual story (the grandad- and the girl).

The plot is excellent about 15 year old Yuki who has got low self-esteem and goes to Japan to stay with her grandad and the tsunami occurs and how she tries to survive but sadly her grandad doesn’t.

The only thing I would say about this book is not everyone would like it because of how wordy it is.

I would recommend this book but only to someone who is an “often reader”.

Oscar Y8

21st January 2022 at 2:18 pm

The book was good and it used the actual mental and psychological effects of being in a tsunami. The mental trauma. The amount of detail was very good: the writer went out of his way to research and find out what it was like in the disaster. I would recommend this book for people who like natural disasters and ghost stories. It was a lot of fun to read.

Neve Y9

21st January 2022 at 2:12 pm

I thought ‘Tsunami Girl’ was ok. I liked the way it switched from book to manga style. The story was gripping and sad in some parts. I like the way the author writes about how she gets over the earthquake.

Seren, Year 8

21st January 2022 at 2:11 pm

I think this book was a bit confusing towards the end. As in, I didn’t really understand what was going on towards the end of the book and I found that the Manga kind of helped me imagine what it would have looked like but not a lot as most of it was about Half-Wave. I expected there to be more Manga than there was, I thought it would be kind of a third to half Manga. I found that the glossary at the back wasn’t very useful and a lot of Japanese words I had to look up as they weren’t in the glossary. I liked Part One a lot more than Part Three because it was quicker to read and there was more going on whereas I found that in Part Three there was less going on but it was a lot slower to read, similar to the whole of ‘When We Were Lost’. The earthquake and tsunami came about where I expected them to be in the book but I thought the radiation would come soon after the tsunami. I found that there wasn’t much in the book that made me want to read on, especially in part two, and it was a bit slow to read. Despite this, I found that the book was still enjoyable. Overall, I think this book was ok as it was enjoyable, with a few surprises but it was a bit slow to read at times and the glossary wasn’t very useful. There were also some bits where not much was happening, particularly in part three.

Lexie yr 8

12th January 2022 at 4:46 pm

This is not usually the genre I would read, and I sort of struggled to get into it. While the description of the tsunami and all the disasters was amazing, I didn’t feel any excitement or curiosity to move on to the next chapter. I understand that this book isn’t about a fictional adventure, but this is not a book which I felt I could get into.

Overall this book genre isn’t one I really enjoy. The Manga was great though, and there were a few parts of it I liked. I would recommend this book to keen readers, as it is quite long and is very detailed.

Imogen Yr8

11th January 2022 at 8:32 pm

I found this book hard to read because it is long and there are some words not in my own language. (Japanese)

When first picking up the book I thought that I would enjoy it because it had manga in it but I found it annoying that I had to keep flicking to the back of the book to see what some of the words meant.

I did quite enjoy this book because it was based on real events so I felt intrigued to learn more and the Manga drawings where amazing! But, on the other hand I found the storyline hard to follow. I would recommend this book to people of all ages because it gives the reader a glimpse into what life would be like living in Japan and the amount of damage a single earthquake can contain.

The author travelled around the globe to Japan to experience what damage can be done by earthquakes and talk to the Fukushima survivors who had had their lives turned on its head by the fatal tsunami. Because of this, I could tell that the writer had a very good understanding of the incident and was able to accurately describe the events that happened, this made the story seem more factual

Georgie, year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:35 pm

This book is about Yuki’s gripping journey through London and Japan trying to find her grandpa after a tsunami struck. She is also getting over the trauma of the tsunami whilst she is on her journey, which makes this book even more interesting. The author went around Japan finding those who had experienced the tsunami to accurately describe the event and show what they had been through and I think that this made everything seem more real.

Mia, year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:35 pm

I think it is one of the best books I have ever read and the drawings were absolutely amazing. In a way I didn’t like the plot as I’m not a big fan that people have to go through this but I loved the way it was written. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in books where you just want to find out more but I also love how it has things made up that are still very realistic.

Dan, Year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:34 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is about a girl called Yuki, who is finding school life in the UK difficult. She goes to stay with her Grandpa, who is a manga artist, in Japan. Whilst she is in Japan, a tsunami hits and her grandpa is lost. She manages to survive but finds the grief of her Grandpa’s death hard to cope with. Yuki and her friend Taka both go through a storm of emotion after the disastrous tsunami . This is quite a good book but it takes a while for the tsunami to hit. I quite like the mix between prose and manga and the drawings help me to picture what is happening. This isn’t my favourite book but I quite like it and I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading this style.

Tarquin, Year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:34 pm

In my opinion I think this book is only alright because at the start it took ages for the book to build up and finally really get started because there was too much introduction before the tsunami hit and it started to get boring. However once it did hit it was quite exciting with the box and wondering if grandpa was really alive or not. The overall theme of the book was quite intriguing because the whole thing was based off a true story, which gave the book that extra bit of spookiness along with the ghosts and spirits. I would recommend it to people that are willing to wait for the thrilling parts but for me it was just too slow.

Jamie, year 8

18th December 2021 at 12:23 pm

Awful is a strong word so let’s say I dislike this book. I found this book quite confusing at times and I didn’t like the concept that it switched between manga pictures and writing a bit of the time, however I enjoyed how the book was based on a true story and that some people managed to survive, and then Julian Sedgwick then made a book out of it.

Amber-Lily Y8

14th December 2021 at 9:49 am

Tsunami girl is about a girl named Yuki who gets swept up in the tragic March 2011 tsunami in Japan. It is based on a true story which makes it even more interesting. It shows Yuki’s point of view and how hard it was for everyone to deal with. It’s shown in such a unique way with some pages written and some pages manga art. I really enjoyed it as the story flows well and it’s not too complicated to follow. Yuki’s journey changes as she is faced with new challenges, but she manages to find a way to deal with it. The manga really brings this unique book together and the illustration is remarkable. The book also uses Japanese words with a glossary for the meanings at the back of the book, making this an exceptional read. I would recommend this book to older readers as it uses some Japanese words and the story may be a bit harder to understand for younger readers. Overall, an extraordinary book!

Chris, Year 8

14th December 2021 at 9:48 am

I thought ‘Tsunami Girl’ was an amazing book and could really relate with all the things about tsunamis we have done in past lessons. I also thought the comic panels helped the book really come out alive which helped me understand very quickly what was actually happening as at times I was a little confused with the story though. This has really changed my view on these types of books. I now ENJOY MANGA!

Oliver, year 8

14th December 2021 at 9:47 am

I thought ‘Tsunami Girl’ was an ok book as it wouldn’t be a book I would normally pick, and I didn’t enjoy it too much. It was a different book to what I have read before as I have never read a manga book before. I thought the choice to see the disaster through a 15-year-old girl visiting her granddad was good. But in conclusion I wasn’t too fond of the book, but it also wasn’t too bad.

Asmae year 9

8th December 2021 at 12:33 pm

I enjoyed reading this book because of the small bits of manga in it, but I wouldn’t read it again because of how long the build up was, would recommend for patient readers.

Emilia year 9

7th December 2021 at 8:57 pm

I really enjoyed this book as it is based on a true story, I loved the manga drawings as they really brought the book together. It took a long time to get to the tsunami in the book, so I got a little bored, but once I got to the tsunami it attracted my attention back again. I probably wouldn’t read this book again as it was really long and had a long build up, but I really enjoyed all the information about the tsunami. So I would recommend to patient readers.

Izzy, year 9

7th December 2021 at 5:39 pm

I didn’t enjoy ‘Tsunami Girl’ as much as some of the other books probably because it was a genre that I wouldn’t normally read. Although I did enjoy how it had manga as it is quite unusual to have half and half. I also enjoyed how it was based on a true story and how Julian Sedgwick decided to make it into a book.

Eva, Yr 8

7th December 2021 at 5:39 pm

I found ‘Tsunami Girl’ quite hard to get into at first but then I couldn’t put it down. I really liked the small bits of manga that broke up the prose as, to me, they made the book easier to read. After doing the manga tutorial it came alive more as I could see how they would have planned each frame and the thought that went into it.

As there is a lot of description in the book I sometimes found it difficult to keep with it but for scenes such as the wave arriving and when Yuki and Taka see the ghosts I read it very quickly.

I also thought it was very good at explaining what life would have been like for people who survived the Tsunami as I would never have thought about it before I read ‘Tsunami Girl’. I really like the main character Yuki and I think she is very relatable for people today as the book helps deal with things like depression and anxiety in quite a light way. I liked the way the author included some Japanese words as, by the end of the book I recognised some of the words and it helped set the scene and bring the book to life.

Overall, once you got into the story it was very fast paced and hard to put down. I think it is especially good for young readers as I don’t really like non-fiction books and I find it much easier to learn about the past through fiction. I think Tsunami Girl is a good book for all ages as there’s lots of different characters and personalities for people to get behind.

Ayoub, Yr 8

7th December 2021 at 5:38 pm

I thought that ‘Tsunami Girl’ was an exciting book but it was a bit slow at the start. I wished there was more manga because it was a nice break in writing. My favourite part of the book was when Taka and Yuki were trying to get into the high danger zone and the Geiger started beeping. It was really tense and I was scared if they were going to get caught. I also liked when Yuki was trying to redraw Half Wave but couldn’t get it right as she hadn’t practised in a while. I liked it because it was relatable to me. I like how Yuki got into art school as it meant she was able to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an artist like her grandpa! My least favourite part was when the people at Yuki’s school were questioning her on the Tsunami as they were bringing up her trauma. I really hated when a bully said, ‘It must’ve been really cool’ because there was a lot of deaths and he was acting like it wasn’t a serious disaster. I think grandpa was right to call Taka as he saved his life at the cost of his own. I thought that the book felt unfinished as there were so many questions I had like: Who planted the box? Was the fox real or not? Did Yuki and Taka get in trouble for escaping? Overall I thought the book was a page turner and I struggled to put it down. I would recommend it to my family as it educated me on the Tsunami in the perspective of a survivor while still making sure I enjoyed the book. The book did finish nicely because at the very end they revealed Grandpa was dead and it gave a nice finish to the book.

Elina, Y8

2nd December 2021 at 2:53 pm

I really liked the book as it was based on a true story with the tsunami and all the pictures and drawings, which were very good and interesting as you can see the characters really come to life. In the book there is tension with the tsunami but it felt very real and realistic when I was reading it and I felt like I was actually there and I think in books that is what you think and feel while reading a good book.

Leila, Y9

2nd December 2021 at 2:52 pm

‘Tsunami girl’ is about a girl called Yuki who goes to her grandfather’s house in Osoma where an earthquake struck, which then set off a terrible tsunami which then led to a reactor exploding. Yuki was taken away in the tsunami and luckily survived. She was therefore traumatized and she kept having nightmares of her grandfather with her and the character she drew as a young girl. She later on went to Tokyo from England which led her to find herself back in Osoma and in the radiation zone. She got led back to her home and she believes her grandfather wanted her there.

Darcey, Y9

1st December 2021 at 1:20 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a book based on the 2011 tsunami in Japan. It focuses on a British girl with Japanese family who visits her Japanese Grandfather to help with her stress. However the journey ends up being far more stressful that she could’ve imagined as she gets caught up in one of the largest tsunamis recorded. I really liked the character of Yuki and how her character developed as she learnt to deal with all that happening to her and how she embraced the culture and added it into her own lifestyle. I liked the style of the half manga-half prose book and I found the drawings really engaging and only rarely took away from the pace and tempo of the story. The book covered sensitive topics but I felt it did it really well and I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in seeing real life experiences and how people cope with life threatening situations and to people 12+.

Chong Man, Year 9

24th November 2021 at 8:29 pm

I thought that ‘Tsunami Girl’ had a boring and slow start. It had a realistic plot of a girl who has anxiety and goes to Japan to visit her grandpa to take a break from her mom who doesn’t understand her but the 2011 tsunami hits Japan the day she arrives, so they had to evacuate the mountain. The author must have done a lot of research on the tsunami. I thought the focus was on friendship and family but I would not recommend this book because I lost interest in the book after reading a few chapters but when I read on it got a lot more interesting. I also thought the manga didn’t fit well with the context of the book. I would recommend this book to more patient readers.

Ameer, y9

24th November 2021 at 8:23 pm

The book ‘Tsunami Girl’ was a great and enjoyable book to read. Although it was a slow read and lacked excitement at the beginning, the book started to get interesting as the tsunami hit. The use of manga at the time of the tsunami really created intensity and personally made me feel anxious and engaged to the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a slow, calm and slightly intense book.


23rd November 2021 at 9:00 am

I honestly did not like ‘Tsunami Girl’ very much, I thought it was quite slow paced and even a bit boring at times. Even when some of the ghosts were involved, it still wasn’t very engaging. I thought that the pace of the book could have been improved and I also do not think that the characters had a lot of depth. I understand that it was a big plot twist for yYki to leave her mum and aunt in Toyko, and for her to overcome her panic attacks, but overall I did not find this very engaging or personal to the readers. Overall, it was a good book but I would recommend reading it at the beginning of the five books.


23rd November 2021 at 8:57 am

Tsunami Girl was a thrilling read. From the first few pages, I was instantly gripped into the immense culture of Japan. I think the main character, Yuki, is a great role model for the book, who uses her courage and strength to pull through her grandfathers death, in the unfortunate event of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. There were moments in this book that made me laugh, and almost made me cry! Many emotions were captured when reading this book, I couldn’t stop turning the pages! I also love the mix of manga and text in this book because it gives it a great description and view of the storyline so you can get a feel of the atmosphere being created in this book. It’s interesting to see Yuki’s thoughts before, in and after the tsunami, her feelings and emotions are reflected throughout. Overall, a thrilling read which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Poppy-Year 8.

22nd November 2021 at 4:09 pm

I love this book, would definitely read it again and really liked the manga!
My favorite part was probably the first part when the tsunami was happening, you could feel the adrenaline rush. I would recommend it to a person who was looking for excitement, danger and a bit of romance, I would say on a scale on 6/10 on hardness.

Megan, Y9

19th November 2021 at 11:31 am

‘Impressive and original’- Financial Times, ‘breathtakingly powerful’- lovereading correctly described Tsunami Girl in my opinion. During this book we follow Yuki and her time during and after her experience in the tsunami and earthquake. How Yuki’s life changes as she finds new ways to deal with the awfulness of the tragedy that befalls on her. There are some magical characters in this book including Yuki’s childhood Creation of Half Wave. The illustrations of manga art that embellish the book follow the magical elements and help the reader understand what is happening at the different stages of the book.

For me this book was an inspirational story of how Yuki survived the tsunami and dealt with the consequences afterwards. Reading this book gave me a good inside view of how serious it is to get caught in a natural disaster, many people believe that being in a natural disaster isn’t a serious issue and being in a tsunami is just ‘sooooo cool’ as some people from Yuki’s school suggest. This year we have been studying natural disasters in geography and this book helped me gain a better understanding of what it was like in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Oscar, Year 9

18th November 2021 at 4:40 pm

When I saw the book, I was intrigued to know what was going on in Yuki’s life, the story of someone experiencing a life threatening moment in one of the biggest tsunamis in history ever recorded. The book was presented well which made me want to read it. As I started reading the book it was quite hard to get into it with a slow start, but as I got going, I found it a lot easier to read because of the help of the manga which sets the plot a lot better for me to picture in my head. It was interesting to read and hear about how Yuki and her grandfather dealt with the situation. I found the book a good read but it had a slow start. I would recommend it to people who like reading about other people’s stories.

Eleanor Year 9

16th November 2021 at 5:17 pm

I thought that this book was different from all the other `surviving natural disaster` books, which was a nice change. It had a different plot because it mainly took place after the Tsunami which helped the book become more unique. I liked the characters, however, I thought it was hard to connect with Yuki and the story until the second half of the book.

Natalie, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:57 pm

The book is very good as the characters feel so real as if you would see them on the street. It’s very good at getting you to feel emotions with the characters: if Yuri was scared so were you.

The manga was good as it helped tell the story by showing the emotion on the faces. I liked the book and would recommend it to young teenagers.

Catie, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:54 pm

I really enjoyed ‘Tsunami Girl’, but I felt it was quite slow-placed at times. I felt that this could have been improved throughout the book and I feel like it could have gone a bit faster. I like the character of Yūki a lot as she is quite confident and she is very determined which I feel resembles me quite well. I also like the tenderness of it, and how sometimes she is quite vulnerable. My favourite part of the book was when she gets caught in the tsunami because I feel like the imagery provided in the prose is really vivid. I also like when she goes back to Grandpa’s house and looks through it all. Although it is a sad sentiment in that moment, it provides us with a time to reflect on the devastation that came to the town.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes realistic fiction and slow-paced books. But it is a good read for any ages and it is a good read in terms of learning about the event.

Kiran, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:50 pm

This is one of the only books that I’ve truly enjoyed. ‘Tsunami Girl’ is a gripping book that throws you between Yuki in London and Yuki in Japan, literally keeping her head above water. I like this book because it shows to you how much this earthquake changed people’s lives from their houses being destroyed to the radiation stopping some people coming back. I also like this book because of how much the author put into writing it, this is shown by the fact that he went to Japan and saw the horrible sights like the cliff road, this is telling us how much he cared about writing this book accurately to show us the struggles the people went through. When he came to our school he truly showed how much this topic meant to him. I only really have one dislike of the book which is that I thought that some bits were slow moving for example Yuki in counselling and the bits before the earthquake and tsunami. All round I think this book is very much worth reading and that people are missing out on learning about a piece of very modern history that will haunt us for ever.

Mark, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:47 pm

I enjoyed ‘Tsunami Girl’ as it was a great story, especially when it came to Yuki visiting her grandad’s house after the tsunami. I also loved the bits of Japanese culture and ghost tales as I found it added a lot to the atmosphere. I found that some of bits such as the therapist parts where slow but I did enjoy how it added another layer to Yuki. I would definitely recommend this book as it is a joy to read and can sometimes be a rollercoaster of emotions.

Ben year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:44 pm

5 out of 5 stars – incredible!! This is an incredible book that combines emotive prose with exquisite manga illustration. It tells the story of a teenage girl, Yuki, who visits her much loved Grandpa Jiro in Japan and is there when the terrible earthquakes and tsunami of 2011 hit.

Emily, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:43 pm

I found the pace of the book a little too slow. I found the manga in the book very good at breaking the book up and also good at exploring the spirits in Japanese culture. The book is well written with flow and shows you the emotion the people who were there went through.

India, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:42 pm

When 15 year old Yuki gets caught up in the Japan 2011 disaster her life is changed forever. Yuki had been struggling with school so she goes and visits her grandad to help her get better. But when a massive earthquake hits their local town she is told to evacuate to the small hill because tsunami warnings start appearing everywhere. Once up on the hill grandpa decides to disappear down the hill to get something from his house but leaves Yuki with a whistle. But when the tsunami seems to be coming the whistle won’t work. Can her grandpa escape the tsunami alive? My Opinion on The Book: I think that this book is an amazing mystery book, which keeps you gripped about what might happen next. It shows family matters a lot and it makes you remember all the people who died and went through this and have been scarred for life. I rate this book 7 out of ten because some bit of the books are less gripping but it is still a great read.

Jessica year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:40 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ was not my favourite book. I didn’t love the manga aspect of the book because I didn’t really feel that it added to the book. I found it quite difficult to read and I didn’t really like the way it was written. Although I did think that the actual story was an interesting concept, and the storyline was quite gripping. I found the part when Yuki was in the tsunami very fast paced and good.

Overall I would probably not recommend the book as it was not my cup of tea, but it might be somebody else’s type of book.

Emily, Year 9

10th November 2021 at 4:47 pm

I found this book a different style to what I would normally chose to read but it didn’t disappoint. I love the continuous manga throughout the book as it gave the detailed historical side of Tsunami Girl a little bit more character. However, it did take quite a long time to get into the book but got me back invested into books.

Seb, year 8

4th November 2021 at 5:58 pm

I really liked the book ‘Tsunami Girl’, the book was very interesting and was very well written to teach you about the feelings of the people that were caught in the tsunami and what it was like to be there. I loved how the manga was used to expose the spirits of Japanese culture and how it shows that the Japanese people really believe that all their ancestors are with them.

Elsa, year 9

2nd November 2021 at 2:18 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a half novel half manga book which gives us a view of family connections, spirits and ghosts and, most importantly, what it was like to experience the 2011 tsunami. On page 101- 103, I quite like how the author uses repetition of the phrase ‘it’s coming’ to convey the shock Yuki (the main character) must have felt because although she must have been taught what to do when a tsunami strikes or she must have been told much about them, she had never experienced a proper tsunami. And so the repetition of ‘it’s coming’ shows the mixture of confusion, fright, and helplessness she must have felt making the reader start to panic and want Yuki to ‘wake up’ and protect herself from the wave. I also like the fact that the manga illustration match perfectly with the writing. This is because the text is based around Yuki like it’s almost in first person, while the manga illustrations are based on what she can’t see and is more about Half Wave. There isn’t really much that I don’t like about the book, but I think that the story starts a little slow and I think I might have liked it more if the text was in first person. I also think that it would have been interesting to have seen more flash backs from when Yuki was younger. I think it would have really put the reader in Yuki’s shoes and could show the strong bond she had with her grandfather and Half Wave. Overall I really liked the book and I think that I would recommend it to 11-to-14-year-olds and to people who are interested in fantasy. I rate this book a 8.5 out of 10.

Mia, year 8

14th October 2021 at 5:42 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ introduces us to Japanese culture with lots of new words and different spirits. A good thing about this book is the fact that there is a bit at the back telling us what the different words mean. I like the manga parts because they split the book up. This book has a lot of detailed description and I can put myself in the main character’s shoes very easily. I find the stories of Japanese spirits very interesting and this book encouraged me to find out more. They only bad thing I can think of is that it is quite slow paced and at times I couldn’t continue. Other than that it was a very descriptive and detailed book.

Neil, year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:41 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is about an English Japanese girl who goes off to the Japanese coast to visit her grandpa, a retired manga artist, and is caught right in the middle of the biggest Earthquake ever recorded in Japan and the following 2011 tsunami. The tsunami breached the seawalls, ripping houses from their very foundations and turning the Fukushima power-station into meltdown, that leaked radioactive gas into the air. This radiation made the surrounding area totally inhospitable to humans. In the book, she then must deal with the trauma and grief of losing her grandpa. The story itself is highly intertwined with Japanese folklore and symbolism.

I didn’t really like ‘Tsunami Girl’ because I found it very hard to understand what was going on and parts of it just felt too far-fetched or too predictable, like Yuki’s grandpa going back inside their house just as a tsunami is imminent just to fetch something. However, I thought the vivid description of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami really made me feel like I was there. But overall, I didn’t really enjoy reading it too much.


    1st February 2022 at 10:15 am

    dear Neil
    I strongly disagree with your opinion I found the book a thrilling read and highly recommend you try reading it again. Sometimes books you don’t originally understand become clearer the more you read them.

Toby, Year 8

14th October 2021 at 5:41 pm

I really enjoyed this book. It used Manga brilliantly, yet I wish there was slightly more of it. I loved the contrast between the action of the Tsunami and the calmness at the therapist sessions at home. I also found it to be a wonderful representation of Japanese culture, with their famous “yurei.” Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Harry, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:40 pm

This book was a good and interesting read, because while making it a fun enjoyable book to read, it also showed you a historical event in 2011 near Fukushima. I thought the connection with Yuki and her grandfather was strong and I liked the use of manga, so you could really get into depth with the book and experience what happened. In addition to that I liked the plot of the book and how it was set. I liked how Julian Sedgwick went to Fukushima to experience the aftermath himself showing a sense that he really cared about his book and the effort he put in was good. Finally, I think the backstory to Yuki was good and how he showed her life well.

I didn’t like how slow the book was because, in my opinion, I find fast paced action/horror thrillers more interesting. ‘Tsunami Girl’ also took 100 pages to build up to the actual tsunami part and I understand that the book needed to explain Yuki and her life, but I thought the author could have got into the main point a bit quicker.

Overall, I recommend this book to people that like these sorts of books and to give it a try if not the case. Although I have a different opinion on books I still found this book fascinating even though this isn’t my type of genre.

Matthew, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:37 pm

I really enjoyed ‘Tsunami Girl’ because of the exhilarating part where the tsunami happens. I also really enjoyed the way that Julian Sedgwick combined with Chie Kutsawada to have both prose and Manga, it made the book much more interesting and more diverse.

My only criticism would be that there wasn’t as much action as I would like after the tsunami. However, I see why he did this as it added more depth to the character of Yuki who suffers from mental health issues.

Overall, I found the book incredible to read and my favourite part was the tsunami part due to how exciting it was. I would recommend it to young adults who enjoy pretty much all themes because it contains more than one.

Anthony, year 8

14th October 2021 at 5:37 pm

This book is a story about loss and adventure. It starts with a girl called Yuki, who is visiting her grandfather in Japan. It all goes wrong, disaster strikes, and Yuki’s world is starting to fall apart. The disaster alone takes people and things that are close to Yuki. This book uses a mixture of words and manga to tell a story while showcasing Japanese culture. This book references Japanese culture a lot. Overall, this is an easy read, a good story, and part manga. The manga is also really well illustrated. A really good book.

Henry, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:36 pm

This was a really good read because it is interesting to see what happens to people and what they go through after natural disasters. It was good because we followed the journey of Yuki and how the tsunami affects her and the people close to her. I also thought the structure of the book was very good because I like when the books start at the natural disaster for the first chapter and then go back to like a couple of weeks earlier.

What I didn’t like about this book was the length, because as I got further into the book I lost interest.

Eddie, year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:35 pm

I found this book a rollercoaster of emotions with ups and downs throughout the book. My favourite part was when Yuki helped the fox out of the tsunami. I loved this moment because she didn’t just try and save herself, she cared for others. I really enjoyed the Manga side of the book as it gave some visual effects which made you feel more like you are in the tsunami. The detail was extraordinary. Overall I loved this book as it was a real life disaster put into a teenage girl’s shoes.

Thomas, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:35 pm

As I’m not a thorough reader, I did not enjoy this book to its potential. The reason for this is because I found it a very slow book and lacking of excitement. However, I did enjoy the fact that manga was introduced. I liked how the drawings were simple yet effective. I also enjoyed the fact that the book goes deep into Yuki’s feelings and the fact she went through so much was horrible. Overall I found that the book was not for me, however, some key moments were interesting and intrigued me to read more.

Florence, year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:35 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ was a great book about the emotional struggles of a 14-year-old girl, Yuki Hara Jones, who gets trapped in the 2011 Japanese tsunami. I think the most impactful part of the book was when Yuki went home, and all the people around her were trying to help, it was very moving. It was different in the way that it was part prose, part manga and I thought it worked very well, however I would have liked the same amount of prose but a little more manga too!

The one thing I didn’t particularly like was how slow the story was, as it bored me a little at the start but once the wave hit it got better, but that’s my personal opinion.

Finlay, year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:34 pm

It’s a great book that puts into perspective the pain that people went through in the disaster. It makes me feel very sympathetic for the people that experienced it as even when just reading it, it made me feel sad. It has a fast pace for the first half of the book but the second half is slower, this gives you time to experience the book and what people had to go through. I really liked the book and was amazed how much it taught me about the disaster whilst having a great storyline.

Katie, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:33 pm

This is a story about being caught between places and cultures, life and death, past and present. Yuki’s life is changed forever when she survives the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and still putting animals and people before herself is one of the best example in the book of her humanity, like when she was rescuing a wild fox from the water and pulling it onto the piece of metal she’s floating on. After her traumatic experience and then return to the UK, she can’t stop her guilt at leaving her beloved grandpa behind and is determined to return to his home to look for him as the one-year anniversary approaches – despite the worries of her family and the danger of radiation. Yuki’s grandpa was a celebrated manga artist and as a young child Yuki created stories about Half-Wave, a superhero who saved people and calmed the sea. The novel is told mostly in words but also manga, which adds a break in the story as it goes along, which I found helpful and made it easier for me to read. The book is steeped in Japanese culture and filled with ghosts who are trying to find peace after the disaster. An absorbing, thoughtful book about loss and trauma, but also about art and imagination and the power of building back together again. I recommend this book, as it was a nice read and I am the sort of person that takes a while to get into a book and this one pulled me in straight away and all the way to the end.

Amelia, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:33 pm

I thought ‘Tsunami girl’ was a great book , it definitely grasped the reader to want to read more. I thought that when the tsunami happened it was very scary for Yuki, and you feel a lot of sympathy for the grandpa and how worried she must have been when she saw it coming and knowing that she couldn’t get to her grandpa. I also thought that the fox was very special in the book as it was like a symbol for her that there was still hope. The only thing I would say I disliked about the book was that because the tsunami was at the very start of the book, it meant that big parts of the book were all mainly about after the tsunami which for me went quite slowly. However overall, I thought that this was a good read especially for people who like the contrast of the text in the book and the manga side of it which both explain it just in different forms. I loved the manga and thought I could really picture the characters better with the manga!

Erin, Year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:46 pm

I liked the book ‘Tsunami Girl’, I think the part manga, part prose worked well together and it was nice to see another point of view, other than Yuki’s. It was really well written, I felt as if I was there with Yuki, feeling the same emotions and going through the same situations. I also feel like I’m much more informed on Japanese culture, I had no idea ghosts and foxes were so important in their culture and manga was never really something I’d come across before. I would absolutely recommend this book to my friends and family!

Wilfred, Year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:44 pm

What is so crucial about this book is that this event has happened in real life known as the Great Sendai Earthquake. My favourite part about this book was the fox. I found the fox really cute in my imagination and the manga panels and I liked how it took the food then scurried off. My only complaint about this book is that as it was a manga infused book I found that there wasn’t enough manga pages as whilst reading the book I was excited hoping that the next page was manga!

Overall I would recommend this book to people my age because it is filled with adventure and a bit of fantasy.

Killian, Year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:42 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is about a girl called Yuki Hara, a girl who went to stay with her grandpa in Japan. When she is there a big Earthquake hits which lasts for what seems like ages. When the earthquake is finished she worries that there might be a tsunami but her grandpa isn’t too bothered but they go to a safe place just in case. When they get there her grandpa goes back down to get something from the house but that is when he tsunami comes and the story is about how she survives.

I think ‘Tsunami Girl’ is a wonderful book that is so interesting and has such an amazing background. I wound definitely recommend to a friend.

Emily, Year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:39 pm

This was such an inspiring book to read! I loved the mix of manga and prose, as it was really interesting because I had many different viewpoints throughout the book. When Yuki Hara Jones is caught up in the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, she and her grandfather try to survive against all odds. Uniquely written, this was a thrilling coming of age novel which taught me that sometimes the best thing to do is to let go.

Felicity, Year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:36 pm

I think that ‘Tsunami Girl’ was an amazing book but that it could’ve gone with more manga because I personally think there wasn’t enough. But it did make me feel almost everything that was happening like when she was seeing her grandpa again (the ghost) I felt a tinkering of hope.

Anna, year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:35 pm

Yuki is out in Japan visiting her grandfather when she is caught in the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and radiation leak. She manages to survive but cannot find her grandfather. Can she find him a year later?

I really enjoyed reading ‘Tsunami Girl’ as it had pages of manga in it. This made it really easy to picture what was happening, for instance when the tsunami came. The manga also made it very easy to visualise the characters.

‘Tsunami Girl’ also deals with lots of modern issues, for example Yuki gets bad panic attacks. The author also writes about how people felt after the tsunami and how much it tore people’s lives apart.

I would recommend ‘Tsunami Girl’ to anyone my age who wants a gripping read.

Grace, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:12 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is probably one of the best books I have ever read. The excitement flows through the book all the way to the end. There is no point in the book that is boring. I also really enjoyed reading the manga aspect of the book too. The style of the drawing was incredible. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but especially people who enjoy a good adventure. When Yuki held onto the fox that was caught in the wave with her, I thought that was a really touching moment considering that they were in so much danger. The strongest part of the book for me was when Yuki found the toy windmill stuck in the ground when she went back into the radiation zone. Overall, I loved reading this book and I would strongly recommend it to any keen reader.

Archie, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:12 pm

Reading this was like entering the thoughts of a 15-year-old girl who struggled with so much, even before the horrible Tsunami. I found that this book could be relevant to everyone who is going through a stage where they don`t know where they belong. I found this book heartfelt, and I loved how Yuki went on her own path to get answers. One thing I was slightly surprised about was that the book wasn`t focused on the Tsunami as much as I thought. My main complaint is one of personal preference as I love action books and this book was a little slow to get going. However, if I was to read a non-action book, I would read this. I would rate this book 4/5.

Theo, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:11 pm

Reading this book was like reading a whole life of a girl who struggled with so much emotionally. It tells us a story that so many people are experiencing now in terms of anxiety and losing loved ones in these tough times but this was set in one of the world’s worst natural disasters. It was so emotionally challenging that it contained so much power. The way Yuki was hit with so much even when she was so emotionally fragile already in her life gave you a sense of sympathy for her and her struggles.

The way manga and novel was intertwined was very interesting but also linked to the story and gave the fusion context to why it was used. It also gave credit to the culture of the country of Japan which gave the book a sentimental value. It also gave the book some pictures to link the story with, giving your imagination a hint of the characters.

What I didn’t really like about this book was it was very slow and although it was about Yuki finding herself, the Tsunami happened at the start of the book meaning the rest of it was anti-climactic. However I do recommend this book.

Georgia, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:11 pm

Tsunami Girl was a moving and profound novel, covering both the struggles of a teenage girl and the carnage and chaos of a triple disaster. The book kept me absolutely hooked and I was sympathising with Yuki all the way through.

I liked the unconventional mix of prose and manga- I haven’t really read any manga before, but I admired the panels and the skill with which Chie Kutsuwada drew all the characters, especially Half Wave.

My favourite part of the book was the epilogue, when Yuki was so excited to have finished her project. I liked that she and Taka were still in contact. I liked this part the most because it showed how much she had developed and grown her art as well as her personality and it was heartening to see some parts of her still the same.

Oscar, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:10 pm

This book surprised me as I expected it to be more focused on the tsunami, but it became focused on Yuki growing up and overcoming her social anxiety.

The manga art helped bring the storyline to life by adding a different way of telling the story. The fact that Yuki’s grandad and she both loved drawing helped make the manga aspect of the story more personal.

In conclusion I think this story is a great coming of age story made more personal with the manga art.

Harrison. Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:10 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a wonderful coming of age story told through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl named Yuki Hara-Jones, who survived the 2011 Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Yuki is a 1/4 Japanese, but has a very special bond with Japan, its culture, and her Grandfather, who lives there. She suffers from severe anxiety and visits him, hoping it will help her anxiety. But disaster strikes, when a violent earthquake and deadly tsunami strike. Yuki survives, yet her Grandfather does not. She recovers in England, but feels unfinished business lies in Japan. With her friend, a boy called Taka, she goes back into the dangerous zones that were devastated by the tragedy.

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a gripping read. The constant switching from Manga to prose, though a little tricky to understand at first, gives a wonderful variation to the book. Manga is a huge part of the book, and Yuki’s love for it and its importance in Japanese culture makes it an excellent way to partly tell the story. The book intertwines the devastation and reaction after the earthquake with Japanese culture, particularly ghost stories. Chie Kutsuwada’s illustrations brought the storytelling to life, making the reader feel as though they were in another world. There were even times when I struggled to put the book down as I became so immersed in the book, it gave me a thirst to read on, to turn to the next page, I would give it 4 and a half stars, and would definitely recommend it.

Jacob, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:09 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a high paced book with a twist as some pages were manga. As it is based on a true event, the book is able to go into high detail on everything. The courage and bravery of Yūki is inspiring through such a hard and unexpected tsunami that traumatised many victims.

Even though Yūki is only ¼ Japanese, she still feels a special connection with Japan. Suffering with anxiety, she decided to visit her Grandpa, a well-known manga artist as she feels it will help her and she can be reunited with her love to draw. However, a terrible event is waiting her arrival.

At first a brutal earthquake hit, giving them a warning for what is about to happen. A line is drawn over the horizon slowly edging closer by the second. Many people stayed put as their massive sea wall would take it, right?

Lara, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:08 pm

I did enjoy ‘Tsunami Girl’, but it was not a favourite. I liked the author’s writing skills and I loved all of the different settings. I think that the illustrator is really talented, but I did not feel like her work fitted with the book all that well. Whilst I was reading, I felt the tension build up but when I was looking at the little speech bubbles and drawings, I did not feel the same and although it was very well drawn I felt as if it was taking away from the book.

I really like how the author had set up each different setting and I could tell that a lot of work had been put into it.

If I were to recommend the book to someone it would be someone who is very interested in Japanese culture or enjoys manga and anime. I would also recommend it to someone from ages 9-14.

Overall, I think that the book is a good read and that anyone who likes anime, manga and is interested in Japanese culture would enjoy this book a lot.

Joshua, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:06 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a great book. It puts you in Yuki’s point of view and it is fascinating how it seemed so real, like she was just like a typical teenager and it made me feel like she was just like the victims too. The amount of research done really made the reading experience very enjoyable as you didn’t get to a certain point and think ‘that’s not true’ and break away from the book. Personally, the things I enjoyed were when the book sometimes switched to Japanese, I thought it made it more authentic.

And the fact it was set in the UK at times made it even better as it gave the book a way to look away from the disasters and focus more on Yuki.

The only thing I disliked was the slow pace at the beginning where you got a small taste of the disaster from early on and then switched to a flash back for a huge number of pages and that slowed down the pace of the book and you lost some of the sense of excitement.

All in all, I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the disaster or wants a long read but are persistent readers.

Emma, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:06 pm

This book had a great story line which I enjoyed but I don’t normally like manga so I didn’t really like the manga at first but then at the end I came to like it. I would recommend this book to people who like manga or to people who like books with lots of different genres, such as ghost stories and adventure. I really love seeing Yuki evolve and have more confidence in herself.

Dan, Year 9

25th September 2021 at 12:04 pm

Recently I have been reading very little to no books and this book was a great way to get back into the swing of things.

The tsunami and subsequent Fukushima disaster was a horrific event and this book brought to light the many tragedies and the loss of lives such as Yuki’s grandpa. Julian Sedgwick builds up the characters and friendships incredibly throughout the book, for example Yuki and her grandpa have such a strong friendship as she felt calmer there when she was with him, this made the moment her grandpa went back in the house extremely suspenseful as we think through the consequences if she loses her grandpa, and we feel empathy for her when she does. Another way Sedgwick uses effective writing is through character development, we see Yuki adapt from a self-enclosed anxious teenager to a brave resilient woman.

The most interesting part of the book for me was the disaster, I loved the way the author connoted fear and terror but at the same time peace when she entered that state between living and not and she was at rest, and the fox to me resembled Grandpa in fox form as they very strongly believed in after-life. This gave us ongoing hope that the grandpa gave to Yuki which was passed on to us from the fox. Overall, it was a very gripping book that brought to light the many unannounced deaths of the disaster.

The one thing I would say about the book was that it was slow at times and the manga made little sense to me, I often found myself flicking back through the pages trying to make sense of the illustrations.

Overall 8/10.

David, Year 9

25th September 2021 at 12:03 pm

His is one of the only books where I have seen this amount of character development. ‘Tsunami Girl’ is a gripping book that flings you between Yuki in London and Yuki in Japan literally and figuratively keeping her head above water. I like this book because it shows to you how much this earthquake changed people’s lives from their houses being destroyed to the radiation stopping some people coming back. I also love this book because of how much the author put into writing it, this is shown by the fact that he went to Japan and saw the horrible sights like the cliff road, this is telling us how much he cared about writing this book accurately to show us the struggles the people went through. I only really have one dislike of the book which is that I thought that some bits were slow moving for example Yuki in counselling and the bits before the earthquake and tsunami. All round I think this book is very much worth reading and that people are missing out on learning about a piece of very modern history that will haunt us for ever.

Leila, Year 9

25th September 2021 at 12:02 pm

‘Tsunami Girl’ is a great book that puts historical events into perspective. It goes into a great depth of detail and makes you as a reader very invested in it as you get attached to some of the characters and develop a lot of sympathy for them. The book is also very interesting as it shows the 3 parts of the story, life before, during and after. The part that described the actual Tsunami and what is happening to the main character Yuki is quite fast paced, which reflects how some people would have felt in this situation. The part of the book talking about life after the tsunami is fascinating as not only does it talk about the damage the tsunami has done, it also describes the after-effects of having gone through such an event. It captures how people who were caught in the tsunami suffered after, which brought a strong sense of reality to the story. However, the book took quite a long time to get into, especially the part talking about life before.

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