Hotaka: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones

2017 Honorable Mention – Young Adult/Middle School Literature

Hotaka: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones by John Heffernan, edited by Lyn White (Allen & Unwin)

When the tsunami strikes the Japanese seaside town of Omori-wan, the effects are utterly devastating. Hotaka, a boy who finds himself first safe, on high ground, sets out to help others. Three years later, much of what happened on that day is still a mystery. As Hotaka works to convince local performers to appear at the town’s upcoming Memorial Concert, he finds himself haunted by memories of best friend, Takeshi, who perished without trace in the tsunami. Then his friend Sakura becomes involved in an anti-seawall movement, and the protest quickly gets serious. As the town and its people struggle to rebuild their lives, can Hotaka piece together what happened that day—and let go of the past? Includes map, timeline, and glossary.