A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Night Parade offers a glimpse into Japanese mythology and religious traditions.
Family traditions are important. Doing something on a dare can have unexpected consequences. It requires courage to become the master of one's own fate, but the task is possible.
Positive Role Models
At the start of The Night Parade, Saki seems spoiled and petulant, complaining about the lack of cell phone reception and having to leave her friends in Tokyo. She's also dismissive of her grandmother's spiritual and family traditions. Over the course of the novel, she learns to value ancient ways and open herself to making new friendships with people who truly care about her.
Violence & Scariness
Saki faces ogres, giant insects with weapons, and other assorted monsters and spirits. Although they might threaten violence, the spirits rarely follow through with it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Night Parade is a stand-alone fantasy novel set in the Japanese countryside, where Saki Yamamoto encounters magical creatures from the spirit world. The book emphasizes the importance of family and ancient traditions. Violence is limited mostly to threats from ogres, a witch, giant insects, and other monsters.
Is It Any Good?
More contemplative than many modern fantasies, this middle-grade novel ably evokes Japanese mythology and Shinto traditions. Some readers may find it hard to warm up to Saki Yamamoto, the self-centered main character, but as she matures over the course of her three-day quest, readers will come to root for her.
Author Kathryn Tanquary keeps the plot moving by introducing interesting new characters -- a four-tailed fox, a bird-like creature called a tengu, and a "raccoon/dog" tanuki -- at regular intervals. Some of the lessons learned are a little obvious, but Tanquary uses a lighter touch to resolve some of the conflicts.
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Our Editors Recommend
Fantasy Books for Kids
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
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