Tsunami Girl


Yūki has returned to her grandfather in Osoma to recover and heal. Life has become too difficult for the near- sixteen year old. The pressures of school and relationships have built up to feel overwhelming. Might it be that returning to grandfather, to her memories of her imagined world of Half Wave, can recreate some sort of ease and happiness? Grandfather, in his speedy silver trainers, is determined to raise Yūki’s smile anew.

He tells her a little about Osoma, including about the son of the local taxi driver. They’d met on the train journey and felt a connection. Yet grandfather is also aware of the tremors felt along this North Pacific Japanese coast and warnings to expect bigger earthquakes. Therefore, when a major event is predicted, he is quick to usher Yūki up Little Mountain, the hill behind his home. Thereafter, he recalls something and rushes down to collect it. Whatever it might be remains unknown, for shortly the earthquake begins, to be followed by the tsunami, one of the world’s worst natural disasters….

How might Yūki find grandfather? As time passes from the event, her wounds and memories persist. While her parents and aunt insist that the authorities’ warnings to stay away from the site due to radiation must be obeyed, Yūki dreams of grandfather. What was he trying to tell her? What did he seek to recover? Where is grandfather?

Yūki’s quest, Tsunami Girl, is at the heart of this story. We share her memories, experience, thoughts and dreams through the narration and then the exceptional manga drawings. Bookwagon applauds the magnificence and might of this YA title. What depth, compassion, respect and inspiration. We recommend Tsunami Girl to all our older readers.

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


Tsunami Girl

Julian Sedgwick, Chie Kutsuwada

(Guppy Books)

Yūki struggles to recall the experience of being Tsunami Girl, when the world turned upside down. She knows her grandfather returned to the house from the Little Mountain. Yet she does not know why. Furthermore, the emergency whistle she blew to warn him to return to her did not work. Yūki could see the Pacific disappear and hear warnings all about, before the world opened up.
However when Grandpa had disappeared as she struggled beneath the water, connecting with a fox, with debris all about….Yūki cannot explain. It seems part dream world and partly real.
 Yūki’s anxiety is the reason she returned to her grandfather and Osoma. There were hopes that tracking back through her childhood,  happy times of drawing Half Wave, existing in an imagined world, might help. Ahead of the giant wave that hit Northern Japan, Grandpa spied Yūki’s smiles anew. Her grandfather thought he might ‘bring Yuki-chan back to life’. 
Yet, how might Yūki recover after the disaster? Thereafter, how might the Pacific coast of Tōhoku, northern Japan ever find life and hope again? The toll is high, from the devastation caused by the earthquakes, the tsunami, to the radiation leaks of Fukushima Number One Nuclear Plant.
Tsunami Girl is an outstanding story of grief, memory, love and recovery. What’s more it is interlaced with manga images of depth and mystery from Chie Kutsuwada. Our understanding of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami grows as regeneration and research continues. However, Yūki, a sensitive teen narrator, helps us feel, imagine and wonder beyond the headlines. It means we might connect with greater depth, while understanding a little of her issues, and her culture too. Bookwagon is awed by this novel and recommends it highly.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Tsunami Girl”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…