The Night Parade

The Night Parade

by Kathryn Tanquary
     
 

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"I thought you might sleep through it." The creature smiled.
Saki's voice was little more than a whisper. "Sleep through what?"
It leaned over. She stared into its will-o'-the-wisp eyes.
"The Night Parade, of course."

The last thing Saki Yamamoto wants to do for her summer vacation is trade in exciting Tokyo for the antiquated rituals and

Overview

"I thought you might sleep through it." The creature smiled.
Saki's voice was little more than a whisper. "Sleep through what?"
It leaned over. She stared into its will-o'-the-wisp eyes.
"The Night Parade, of course."

The last thing Saki Yamamoto wants to do for her summer vacation is trade in exciting Tokyo for the antiquated rituals and bad cell reception of her grandmother's village. Preparing for the Obon ceremony is boring. Then the local kids take interest in Saki and she sees an opportunity for some fun, even if it means disrespecting her family's ancestral shrine on a malicious dare.

But as Saki rings the sacred bell, the darkness shifts. A death curse has been invoked...and Saki has three nights to undo it. With the help of three spirit guides and some unexpected friends, Saki must prove her worth-or say goodbye to the world of the living forever...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/26/2015
Wonder and imagination abound in Tanquary’s debut, a fantasy set in a contemporary Japanese mountain village; filled with respect and admiration for cultural tradition, it evokes both Grimm’s fairy tales and Miyazaki’s films. Saki, a city girl from Tokyo, isn’t looking forward to traveling with her family to her grandmother’s remote village for the festival of Obon, which celebrates the spirits of the dead. She quickly finds herself in trouble—and fighting a “death curse”—after playing a dangerous game with a group of local kids in her ancestors’ graveyard. The next three nights find Saki as part of the Night Parade, the spirit tradition running parallel to the Obon festival—and her only chance for redemption, if she can survive her encounters with three spirit guides. Saki’s decided love for technology (she’s glued to her phone) is a perfect foil for an examination of how the present can be influenced by the past, and vice versa, with both coexisting peacefully. Vivid details and realistic situations ensure accessibility, and subtle teaching moments are wrapped in wide-eyed enchantment. Ages 10–14. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Wonder and imagination abound in Tanquary's debut, a fantasy set in a contemporary Japanese mountain village; filled with respect and admiration for cultural tradition, it evokes both Grimm's fairy tales and Miyazaki's films...Vivid details and realistic situations ensure accessibility, and subtle teaching moments are wrapped in wide-eyed enchantment. " - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[A] marvelous original debut novel, inspired by Japanese mythology and spookily reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's terrifying "Coraline."" - The Buffalo News

"A suspenseful middle-grade fantasy debut evocative of Neil Gaiman'sCoralineand classic films like Jim Henson'sLabyrinthand Hayao Miyazaki'sSpirited Away...This dark adventure serves as a terrific introduction to Japanese legends, with the weird and wondrous on full display.
" - Shelf Awareness

"An entertaining mix of Japanese folklore and teen angst" - School Library Journal

"This adventurous story perfectly mixes Saki's tech-savvy tendencies with ancient Japanese customs, nicely illustrating the connections between the past and the present." - Bookish.com

"Tanquary excels at creating a world where both Japanese beliefs and cosmic mythology are real and co-exist" - TeenReads

"This has significant shades of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, and it will appeal especially to readers with an interest in adventure stories and Japanese folklore." - Booklist

"This story will be a hit for those who are fans of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, with its interesting characters and creative plot" - School Library Connection

School Library Journal
12/01/2015
Gr 5–7—A young teen learns to appreciate tradition and think more of others than herself after some unsettling interactions with magical beings. Nascent mean girl (or at least uncaring follower) Saki would much rather hang out with her—for lack of a better term—"friends" in Tokyo than accompany her parents and younger brother to her grandmother's tiny mountain village during summer vacation, but she has no choice. Almost immediately, she falls in with the wrong crowd, who goad her into a disrespectful act at her family's ancestral shrine, which, combined with lazy, uncaring preparations for the Obon ceremony, gets her in deep trouble with the spirits. Now Saki has three nights to undo the death curse she's brought down on her family. Her guides in the Night Parade include an untrustworthy four-tailed fox, a feathered tengu (a heavenly doglike creature), and a mischievous tanuki (a subspecies of raccoon dog) in the shape of a furry teapot. Saki has adventures of all sorts—funny, scary, dangerous, disgusting—and ultimately prevails, though not without whining, backsliding, giving up, and then starting over again and again. She is smug, sarcastic, and basically unlikable at the start but in the end is potentially nicer and more respectful, both of herself and others. VERDICT An entertaining mix of Japanese folklore and teen angst, suitable for larger collections.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2015-09-21
A Japanese teen travels the spirit world to break a curse upon her family. Tanquary's debut explores the Japanese spirit world through 13-year-old Saki. Her family travels to her grandmother's rural village for its Obon ceremony, but she'd rather spend her summer vacation with her friends back in Tokyo. On the first evening of the night parade, when ancestors' spirits return to visit their relatives, Saki is tricked by local kids into ringing a sacred bell. Later that night, she is awoken by the first of three spirit guides who aid her quest to break the curse of death upon her family. She soon learns that the entire human world is in grave danger. During her journey she meets spirits she has only seen in her childhood books. Most spirits do not care for human children, but Saki manages to find help in unexpected places. Tanquary provides a cursory introduction to Shinto tradition and culture but fails to fully commit to the Japanese spirit world. Some spirits are called by their Japanese names while others use the English translations ("fox" instead of "kitsune" and "ogre" instead of "oni"; but "kappa" for a water-spirit and "tengu" for a birdlike spirit). This inconsistency, together with a tendency to tell rather than show, distracts readers from the supernatural elements of Saki's adventures and keeps them from immersing themselves in her world. An introductory foray into Japanese culture for fantasy readers. (Fantasy. 9-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781492623243
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
01/05/2016
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
161,287
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

"I thought you might sleep through it." The creature smiled. Saki's voice was little more than a whisper. "Sleep through what?" It leaned over. She stared into its will-o'-the-wisp eyes. "The Night Parade, of course." The last thing Saki Yamamoto wants to do for her summer vacation is trade in exciting Tokyo for the antiquated rituals and bad cell reception of her grandmother's village. Preparing for the Obon ceremony is boring. Then the local kids take interest in Saki and she sees an opportunity for some fun, even if it means disrespecting her family's ancestral shrine on a malicious dare. But as Saki rings the sacred bell, the darkness shifts. A death curse has been invoked...and Saki has three nights to undo it. With the help of three spirit guides and some unexpected friends, Saki must prove her worth-or say goodbye to the world of the living forever...

Meet the Author

Kathryn Tanquary is a graduate of Knox College with a B.A. in Creative Writing. She currently resides in Japan as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in the Gunma Prefecture.

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