22 Jul / Children of the Sea (vol. 1) by Daisuke Igarashi, translated by JN Productions
Ruka, a star handball player, gets a little too rough and ends up kicked off the team. Frustrated, she heads to big city Tokyo where she thinks she might find the sea, and instead meets a mysterious young boy named Umi (whose name happens to mean “sea” in Japanese) who indeed can’t stay out of the water.
Once back home, for lack of anything better to do, Ruka pretends to go to practice anyway to avoid any questions from her mother, but instead frequents the aquarium where her estranged father works. And there, once more, she finds Umi … and eventually his brother Sora (whose name means “sky”). Both boys are highly unusual – they were raised in the sea by dugongs [enormous sea vegetarian mammals related to manatees; I didn’t know what they were so I’ve added a descriptive link] and are now under the guardianship of Jim Cusack, a tattooed, world-wandering colleague of Ruka’s father.
Something in Ruka recognizes welcoming Umi and even the more prickly Sora. Something is calling all three to the sea. Do ghosts in the water really exist? While some fish species are just disappearing, other rare groups are beaching themselves and willing themselves out of life. And the sky’s lights are in cahoots, also calling – or warning? – the trio of things yet to come …
The book is rated for readers 16+ by the publisher, but most younger readers will definitely be okay with the contents. This inaugural volume marks a brave new series that should all make us more aware – and hopefully prod us into action, too! – about how our excesses are threatening and destroying the water world all around us.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Published: 2009 (United States)
KAIJU NO KODOMO 1 © Daisuke Igarashi
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.