夏に泳ぐ緑のクジラ(読みもの)

Green Whales that Swim in Summer

村上しいこ 著 Murakami, Shiiko

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

『夏に 泳ぐ 緑のクジラ』(Natsu ni oyogu midori no kujira)

中学3 年生の夏、お京は母親に連れられて、祖母の住む小さな島にやってきた。島はそれまでは家族で休暇を過ごす場所だったが、今回は違う。両親の離婚を理由に祖母に預けられることになったのだ。お京は大人の事情を理解できず、「自分は捨てられた」と思い込む。不安と不満を抱え込み、どう行動すればよいかわからない。

祖母に言われて畑にスイカを取りに行くと、変な男の子が現れて「おいら、つちんこ」と名のった。人間の姿をしているが、頭に毛がなく、つるんとした土団子のような顔している。つちんこはスイカを「夏に泳ぐ緑のクジラ」と呼び、美味しいスイカの選び方を教えてくれた。つちんこは孤独を抱え、生きづらさを感じる子どもにしか見ることができない存在で、彼らが大人になるのを手伝い、その後は忘れられてしまうのだという。島に住む、母を亡くして引きこもる少年海輝(かいき)と、お京の従姉妹で多感な少女舞波(まなみ)もまた、つちんこの姿を見ることができた。お京を中心に思春期を生きる3 人がそれぞれ心のなかに持つ問題に向き合い、乗り越えていく姿が描かれる。実はお京の母も父との生活に疲れ、心に大きな傷を負っていた。自分中心にしか考えられなかったお京も、次第にまわりの人びとの立場や感情を理解できるように変わっていく。多感な少年少女のひと夏を描いた成長物語。(汐﨑)

出版社 小学館
初版年 2019年
ISBN 9784092897724
ページ数 208頁
サイズ 19×14
対象年齢 13歳から
キーワード 思春期 孤独 友情 援助者 離婚

Green Whales that Swim in Summer

The summer between semesters of her third year in middle school, Okyo is taken by her mother to a small island where her grandmother lives. Until now, the island has been a place for family vacations, but this time is different. Okyo is staying with her grandmother due to her parents’ divorce. Not fully understanding the adults’ problems, Okyo believes that she has been cast off. Anxiety and anger envelop her, leaving her lost.

When told by her grandmother to go and harvest a watermelon in the field, she sees a strange boy who calls himself Tsuchinko. He’s shaped like a human, but his head has no hair, and his face is smooth like a mud dumpling. Tsuchinko refers to watermelons as “green whales that swim in summer,” and he teaches Okyo how to find a ripe one. Tsuchinko is only visible to children who feel alone and who struggle; he says that he helps them grow up, then gets forgotten. Besides Okyo, a boy named Kai whose mother died, who refuses to leave his house, can see Tsuchinko; and Okyo’s sensitive cousin Manami can see Tsuchinko. Over the course of the book, these three adolescents weather the storms in their hearts. Okyo learns that her mother, exhausted from life with her father, has huge mental scars of her own. Thought at first able to think only of herself, Okyo gradually grows able to see other people’s perspectives and understand their feelings. A coming-of-age novel that portrays one summer and three vulnerable children. (Shiozaki)

  • Murakami, Shiiko
  • Shogakukan
  • 2019
  • 208 pages
  • 19×14
  • ISBN 9784092897724
  • Age 13 +

Adolescence, Isolation, Friendship, Helpers, Divorce


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