Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog Book Poster Image
Hachiko waits for his master, even after he dies.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hachiko's devoted friendship and loyalty will appeal to young children.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byKoriKat November 27, 2017

Rollercoasters of emotion

A beautiful story. I have watched and read the book and both made me cry. Some may act totally different from how I did. However, I believe that if you are a d... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 31, 2012

it is awesome

it was the best book i read and it was emotional at the end cause i love dogs buy it read it i am sure anybody who loves reading or loves dog will lot this book

What's the story?

Kentaro goes to the train station to meet his father, and there gets to know Hachiko, Dr. Ueno's loyal dog. Hachiko walks Dr. Ueno to the station every day, and every day he's waiting there when Dr. Ueno returns in the evening.

But one night Dr. Ueno doesn't return -- he has died at work. Hachiko returns every night to wait for him, even after he is taken miles away. Kentaro, his family, and others bring him food and water. This goes on for years, until finally Hachiko himself dies. And at the spot where he waited so faithfully, the townspeople erect a statue in his memory.

Is it any good?

Like a Japanese haiku, this book is as notable for what's missing as for what's present. Based on a true story, it is spare, elegant, without any cloying Western sentimentality -- no tugging at the heartstrings, no anthropomorphizing, no dramatic death scenes, just a matter-of-fact telling of an affecting true story through the eyes of a fictional boy.

Though the story is universal, the author and illustrator adroitly drop in details of Japanese life: "Ladies in kimonos walked carefully, trying to keep their white tabi socks away from the grime of the streets." The author also includes a "Story About the Story."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Hachiko waits hoping Dr. Ueno will return, or to honor his memory.

Book details

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