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.


3 Comments

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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