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Temple Alley Summer

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Winner of the 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award

A July/August 2021 Kids' Indie Next Pick

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Winner of a 2022 SCBWI Crystal Kite AwardFrom renowned Japanese children’s author Sachiko Kashiwaba, Temple Alley Summer is a fantastical and mysterious adventure filled with the living dead, a magical pearl, and a suspiciously nosy black cat named Kiriko featuring beautiful illustrations from Miho Satake.

Kazu knows something odd is going on when he sees a girl in a white kimono sneak out of his house in the middle of the night—was he dreaming? Did he see a ghost? Things get even stranger when he shows up to school the next day to see the very same figure sitting in his classroom. No one else thinks it’s weird, and, even though Kazu doesn’t remember ever seeing her before, they all seem convinced that the ghost-girl Akari has been their friend for years!

When Kazu’s summer project to learn about Kimyo Temple draws the meddling attention of his mysterious neighbor Ms. Minakami and his secretive new classmate Akari, Kazu soon learns that not everything is as it seems in his hometown. Kazu discovers that Kimyo Temple is linked to a long forgotten legend about bringing the dead to life, which could explain Akari’s sudden appearance—is she a zombie or a ghost? Kazu and Akari join forces to find and protect the source of the temple's power. An unfinished story in a magazine from Akari’s youth might just hold the key to keeping Akari in the world of the living, and it’s up to them to find the story’s ending and solve the mystery as the adults around them conspire to stop them from finding the truth.

ISBN-13: 9781632063038

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Restless Books

Publication Date: 07-06-2021

Pages: 240

Product Dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Age Range: 8 - 13 Years

Sachiko Kashiwaba is a prolific writer of children’s and young adult fantasy whose career spans more than four decades. Her works have garnered the prestigious Sankei, Shogakukan, and Noma children’s literature awards, and her novel The Mysterious Village Veiled in Mist influenced Hayao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away. Her works have recently been animated as the films The Wonderland and The House of the Lost on the Cape, and her novel Temple Alley Summer, illustrated by Miho Satake and translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa, won the American Library Association’s 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award. She lives in Morioka, Iwate. Avery Fischer Udagawa grew up in Kansas and studied English and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She holds an M.A. in Advanced Japanese Studies from The Universityof Sheffield. She has studied at Nanzan University, Nagoya, on a Fulbright Fellowship, and at the Inter-UniversityCenter for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama. She writes, translates, and works in international education near Bangkok, where she lives with her bicultural family. Miho Satake is a Japanese artist and illustrator. She is best known for illustrating the Japanese editions of several classic children’s books including Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, three books in the Kiki’s Delivery Service series by Eiko Kadono, and the twentieth-anniversary edition of the Harry Potter series.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Fans of Hayao Miyazaki will love Temple Alley Summer, which takes a series of supernatural turns as young Kazu seeks to discover the truth about a mysterious classmate and help her learn the end to an unfinished story. This beguiling tale—skillfully translated and charmingly illustrated—imparts haunting, hopeful lessons about second chances and what it means to fully embrace life.”

—Leza Lowitz, author of Up from the Sea and Jet Black and the Ninja Wind


“A sweet ghost story, a mystery, an eerie and unsettling story-within-a-story: Finally, the work of the great Sachiko Kashiwaba, one of Japan's most revered children's authors, is available in English translation! I'm so pleased that young people who read in English can now enjoy Kashiwaba's Temple Alley Summer, and experience the pleasure and wonder of viewing the world from a less familiar angle.”
—Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times best-selling author


“Utterly enchanting! Part mystery, part ghost story, this magical tale has the makings of a classic.”
—Suzanne Kamata, author of Pop Flies, Robo-Pets, and Other Disasters


“[Kazu’s] search for answers pushes him out of his comfort zone and has him face deep questions on death and morality. In this absorbing, multi-layered story, the past, the present and an unfinished fairy tale are all satisfyingly connected. Though not scary, the uncanniness of the situation lingers. This bewitching book makes me hope more of Sachiko Kashiwaba's works will be translated into English.”

—Suzanne Morgan, Politics and Prose (Washington, DC)


“This middle-grade novel exemplifies the joys of reading children's books in translation: experiencing cultures other than one's own. Kids familiar with Japanese culture from Studio Ghibli films, though, will feel right at home in this contemporary ghost story. I hope the author’s other works will be translated into English as well!”

—Robin Stern, Books Inc. (Campbell, CA)


Temple Alley Summer is like a three-in-one book—a manga-like feel, a modern Japanese story, and fable, all in one. I loved the ghost girl, Akari, and the genuine Kazu. This could be a read-aloud or a standalone book. One of my SUMMER PICKS!!!”

—Kira Wizner, Merritt Bookstore (Millbrook, NY)


“Wonderful spooky tale with perfect summer vibe and great illustrations.”

—Anton Bogomazov, Politics and Prose (Washington, DC)


"What a thrilling discovery this book is. There are unexplained legends, ghosts, and plenty of twists and turns to keep those pages flying, but at its heart it’s a story about a sensitive boy who wants to do the right thing, even when things get strange and his ordinary life is suddenly filled with the most unsettling mysteries. It’s a story about friendship and about believing, and a thoroughly captivating read."

—Daniel Hahn, award-winning translator


“A strange mysterious ghost girl, a young boy discovering the hidden secrets of his neighborhood, and a tale about the power and importance of stories; Temple Alley Summer is an excellent middle grade novel with charm and heart to spare. I loved the unraveling mystery that Kashiwaba slowly reveals, the amazing story-within-a-story element, and the beautiful illustrations of Satake throughout. A truly special and unique book that I can't wait to recommend to readers young and old.”

—Caleb Masters, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC)


“It’s summer break! There’s time for fun and friends, but Kazu has decided to investigate a paranormal occurrence tied to the history of his street, Temple Alley…. Complete with a story within a story, this summertime sleuth is mischievous and magical.”
—Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange (Tampa, FL)



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