Hachiko Waits – Lesléa Newman (Author), Machiyo Kodaira (Illustrator)
“What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi, you are the best dog in all of Japan.”
Professor Ueno speaks these words to his faithful dog before boarding the train to work every morning. And every afternoon, just before three o’clock, Hachi is at the train station to greet his beloved master. One day, the train arrives at the station without the professor. Hachi waits.
For ten years, Hachi waits for his master to return. Not even Yasuo, the young boy who takes care of Hachi, can persuade him to leave his post.
Hachiko Waits, a novel inspired by a true story, brings to life the legendary Akita who became a national symbol for loyalty and devotion. This is a must-read for dog lovers of all ages.
Hachiko Waits is a 2005 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Un-Review: This book was written by one of my professors, and I don’t review anything written by people who grade me, but I wanted to show you this book. I know that a lot of my blog readers are parents, teachers, or librarians who want recommendations for good children’s lit. I’d definitely call Hachiko Waits “Good children’s lit.”
The writing level is middle grade or slightly younger. The book is approximately 100 pages and has illustrations. It’s based on the true story of a dog in Japan who spent 10 years at a train station, waiting for his owner to come home. The story does deal with death and sadness, but it’s written in a way that most children could probably handle. There is a happy ending.
The book is set in the 1920s and shows elements of Japanese culture. It would be perfect for a kid who is interested in nonfiction stories, animals, history, or Japan.