Hugely entertaining, fast-paced contemporary adventure, featuring demons from Japanese folklore
Miku Takeshita and her family have moved from Japan to live in the UK, but unfortunately the family's enemy demons have followed them… Miku knows she's in trouble when her new supply teacher turns out to be a Nukekubi - a bloodthirsty demon who can turn into a flying head and whose favourite snack is children.
That night, in a raging snowstorm, Miku's little brother Kazu is kidnapped by the demons, and then it's up to Miku and her friend Cait to get him back. The girls break into their snow-locked school, confronting the dragon-like Woman of the Wet, and outwitting the faceless Nopera-bo. At last they come face to face with the Nukekubi itself - but will they be in time to save Kazu?
About the Author
Cristy Burne has joint New Zealand and Australian citizenship, has travelled widely and lived for several years in Japan as a teacher and editor. It was during this time that she became fascinated with Japanese folklore and the supernatural yokai - demons - which are very much a part of Japanese culture, but little known outside Japan. Cristy has spent most of her career as a science writer, and currently works for a computing network designed to solve global problems. She won the Voices on the Coast Youth Literature Award for emerging writers, in Queensland, Australia, but Takeshita Demons is her first published book. Cristy and her husband live in Perth, Western Australia.
This year the inaugural 'Diverse Voices' award was announced. The award was a joint initiative by Frances Lincoln and Seven Stories, the Centre for the Children's Book, and was aimed at recognising a manuscript that 'celebrates diversity in its widest possible sense'. Winner Christy Burne's Takeshita Demons does this admirably. || Monsters new to the West are introduced in Cristy Burne's Takeshita Demons, the winner of a Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices award, and illustrated in manga style by Siku. It is a pacy horror adventure in which a Japanese girl brings yokai (evil spirits) into an English school, and battles them with her friend in order to save her baby brother. Things get chilling when a supply teacher turns out to be a nukekubi (a child-eating spirit), whose head flies off. Fortunately, there are protective spirits, too. || I read Takeshita Demons in a few gulps. My first impressions were: "wow, this is pretty damn good" and then "holy smokes, this is actually quite scary" and then "I love kick ass girls!"... Cristy Burne has this magical way of writing where with the slightest bit of explanation you completely suspend your disbelief and can totally believe that these monsters are hunting the Takeshita kids... Takeshita Demons is a spooky story, mild on horror with no gore, for those readers who like to be thrilled but not be mindlessly scared. It also asks to be read out loud to a class or at bed time, if your young folk is tough enough! || An extremely fast, action-packed story. 'Takeshita Demons' is most definitely NOT for the faint hearted. Ultimately this story presents a fascinating insight into the wworld of Japanese culture. Burne's extensive use of dialogue helps the reader to formulate vivid images of each spooky demon, whilst maintaining a fast-paced adventure story. Similarly, Burne's first-hand informed knowledge of Japanese folklore is both easy-reading and surprisingly engaging. This is unquestionably a super book for encouraging diversity and promoting multicultural awareness within schools.