The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary

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Saki è in viaggio con la famiglia per passare alcuni giorni al villaggio in cui vive la nonna per trascorrere insieme la cerimonia Obon in cui si ricordano gli spiriti degli antenati deceduti.

Durante una prova di coraggio con i ragazzi del paese Saki suona la campana del tempio, invocando una maledizione di morte su di sè. Potrà rimediare al danno solo raggiungendo il principe degli spiriti, ma agli umani è proibito l’accesso alla processione notturna degli spiriti.

Con l’aiuto di tre spiriti guida, uno per ogni notte, Saki imparerà a conoscere il mondo degli spiriti e cercherà di rimuovere la corruzione a cui alcuni sono soggetti.

The Night Parade è un romanzo per ragazzi molto carino, in cui risaltano diversi soggetti mitici della tradizione giapponese; è una storia di prove e di coraggio che ricorda una fiaba.

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Saki is travelling with her family to spend some time in her grandmother village to help her during the Obon ceremony, when the spirits of the deaths are remembered.

To prove her courage, in front of the village kids, rings the sacred bell in the temple and calls upon her a death curse. The only way to remove the course seems to be asking help to the spirit prince, but humans are forbidden to take part in the spirits night parade.

With the help of three guide spirits, one for each night, Saki will begin to understand the spirits world, and she will try to remove the corruption that affects some of the spirits.

The Night Parade is a nice novel for kids where the Japanese myths stand out, it’s a story about courage and adventures that is like a fairy tale.

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The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary ★★☆☆½

The Witches by Roald Dahl

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Leggi questo articolo in italiano


Here, but also in the BFG it’s clear how Dahl’s stories for children do not have only positive elements because the target are the children.

In the BFG the giants were evil and desired only to each childs, in The witches the horrific element are these evil figures, whose only aim is to make every children disappear and suffer.

The novel main character is an orphan, and he lives with his Norway grandmother in England where he studies, this being the last desire of his parents. And it is his grandmother that talks to him about witches, since she once used to hunt them all over the world. We then learn with him to identify them and to understand they way of doing evil. The protagonist himself will encounter witches, and this is what the novel is about.

Re-reading it I noticed some details that previously I skipped; above the scary element (the witches) that is a fantastic one, the author puts in the novel some things that are truly scary: the parents death, but also the image of the sick grandmother with pneumonia, she being in the bed with strange machines around, and the perspective to become truly alone in the world.

As every Dahl’s novel I suggest to read it, it’s funny – but not predictable – and engaging.


* The Witches by Roald Dahl ★★★★☆½

*I read this book in italian & english