Temple Alley Summer

Temple Alley Summer cover
Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba. Illustrated by Miho Satake. Translated from the Japanese by Avery Fischer Udagawa

By Sachiko Kashiwaba
Illustrated by Miho Satake
Translated from the Japanese by Avery Fischer Udagawa
Yonder, 2021
240 pages

Ages 8-12

In the dead of night, Kazu spies a girl in white emerging from his family’s altar room in Masuda, Japan. The next day, Kazu is bewildered when his classmates act as though the girl, Akari, has been a member of their class for years. When he learns that his house was once the site of Kimyoji, or “return-to-life temple,” Kazu suspects Akari may be a ghost; he’s even more certain after his uncle tells him that their family has been protecting a Kimyo Temple statuette with the power to bring the dead to life. Kazu befriends Akari and learns that she died as a child 40 years ago. When an elderly neighbor steals the statuette from his family’s altar with intent to destroy it, Kazu is determined to help Akari enjoy the time she has left. He helps her track down a story she’d begun reading before her death and wants to finish. Upon discovering that the ending was never written, the two embark on a search for the author with the hope of persuading her to complete it and make a surprising discovery. Readers will root for Kazu and Akari in their mission, while the story-within-the-story, printed in full, is as gripping and magical as the primary ghost story. Both are rich with themes of friendship, second chances, and making the most of the time you’re given. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center