団地のコトリ(読みもの)

Little Bird of the Apartment Block

八束澄子 著/中村至宏 画 text: Yatsuka, Sumiko | illus. Nakamura, Yukihiro

カテゴリー: Japanese Children's Booksおすすめ!日本の子どもの本読みもの/chapter books and novels

『団地のコトリ』(Danchi no kotori)

母親とふたりで団地に暮らす中学生の美月(みづき)と、同じ団地の下の階にかくまわれている11歳の陽菜(ひな)の、ふたつの流れで物語は進む。陽菜の母親は、子連れで職業を点々としながら全国を放浪し、娘を学校にも行かせていなかったのだが、その母親が倒れて救急車で運ばれてからは陽菜は施設に入って学校にも通っていた。その後また公園で倒れて柴田老人に保護された母親は、施設に無断で陽菜を連れ出し親子で柴田老人の家に居候し、息をひそめるように隠れている。

しかしある日、柴田老人がスーパーでくも膜下出血を起こして病院に収容され、家にこもったきりの陽菜たちは食料がつきてしまう。やがて美月の前に「助けて」とやせ細った陽菜があらわれる。血を吐いた陽菜の母親が死去し、陽菜は施設に戻ることになる。美月は陽菜を妹のように感じる一方で、陽菜の瞳の暗さに脅えもする。そうかんたんではない状況だが、美月の母は、夏休みなどの一時里親を、柴田老人も、陽菜の経済的支援を、申し出る。

居所不明児童や独居老人を取り上げ、リアルなエピソードを積み重ね、人が人を思いやる気持ちに目を向けたYA小説。重苦しい場面も多いが、美月が飼っているおしゃべりインコがユーモラスで、救いになっている。(さくま)

出版社 ポプラ社
初版年 2020年
ISBN 9784591167243
ページ数 208頁
サイズ 20×13
対象年齢 13歳から
キーワード 居所不明児童 独居老人 思いやり

Little Bird of the Apartment Block

Mitsuki is a junior high student living with her mother in a large apartment complex. Hina is an 11-year-old being hidden from authorities with her mother, by a single elderly man living one floor below. This novel brings together Mitsuki and Hina’s two stories.

Hina’s mother had been drifting around the country, taking her daughter with her to various jobs and not sending her to school. After Hina’s mother collapsed at a train station and got taken away by ambulance, Hina was put in an institution and began to attend school. But after her mother collapsed again in a park and was taken in by the elderly man, Mr. Shibata, her mother nabbed Hina from the institution and brought her into hiding with her.

One day, Mr. Shibata suffers a subarachnoid hemorrhage while at the supermarket, loses consciousness, and is taken to hospital. Stuck in his apartment and unable to leave, Hina and her mother run out of food. Hina, reduced to skin and bones, appears in front of Mitsuki and says, “Help.” Hina had known about Mitsuki and had even nicknamed her Kotori-chan (Little Bird), because Mitsuki keeps a parakeet.

Hina’s mother coughs up blood and dies after being taken to hospital. Hina returns to the institution. Mitsuki now thinks of Hina as a younger sister, but at the same time, she is scared by the darkness she sees in Hina’s eyes. Knowing that helping Hina will not be simple, Mitsuki’s mother nonetheless agrees to foster her during vacations, and Mr. Shibata offers financial support.

This YA novel takes up issues lately pressing in Japan, as elsewhere: missing children and the isolated elderly. With realistic episodes, it turns our gaze toward people showing compassion to other people. It contains a number of heavy scenes, but the talking parakeet lends a saving humor. (Sakuma)

  • text: Yatsuka, Sumiko | illus. Nakamura, Yukihiro
  • Poplar
  • 2020
  • 208 pages
  • 20×13
  • ISBN 9784591167243
  • Age 13 +

Missing child, Elderly living alone, Compassion


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