Nanoka is a very bright child, so she feels it’s only natural that the other stupid kids in her class don’t include her. After all, who needs friends their own age, when she has far superior friends outside of school!
Length: 305 pages
Nanoka’s friends include a cat with a torn tail, a selfharming teenager, an woman with a secret job and an old lady, who lives alone. While they are all a bit unusual friends for an elementary school child to have, Nanoka finds them all amazing to talk to, especially now that she has to find out for a school project what happiness is.
This was a novel that really surprised me with how easy it was written. We follow Nanoka’s point of view, who has the vocabulary of a child that mostly talks to grown-ups, so her language is simple and somewhat formal and she uses certain phrases and quirks regularly. Whenever there are more difficult idioms or words or kanji, she herself comments on whether or not she knows what that means and often attempts explaining those herself.
Another point that makes this novel so accessible to learners, is that there also isn’t really much of a plot for the most part of the book. The story mainly focuses on Nanoka’s relationships to her unusual friends, her parents and eventually her classmates and those relationships are explored through conversations Nanoka has with them. That being said, there is more than meets the eye and the ending will certainly have you look at those conversations in a different light.
You can get the book shipped to your country e.g. through Amazon Japan (affiliate link).