“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…
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.