Nobody Knows (Hardcover)
Groundwood Books, 9781554981403, 143pp.
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Akira bravely shoulders the responsibility for the family. He shops and cooks and pays the bills, while Kyoko does the laundry. The children spend their time watching TV, drawing and playing games, wishing they could go to school and have friends like everyone else. Then one morning their mother breezes in with gifts for everyone, but she is soon gone again.
Months pass, until one spring day Akira decides they have been prisoners in the apartment long enough. For a brief time the children bask in their freedom. They shop, explore, plant a little balcony garden, have the playground to themselves. Even when the bank account is empty and the utilities are turned off and the children become increasingly ill-kempt, it seems that they have been hiding for nothing. In the bustling big city, nobody notices them. It's as if nobody knows.
But by August the city is sweltering, and the children are too malnourished and exhausted even to go out. Akira is afraid to contact child welfare, remembering the last time the authorities intervened, and the family was split up. Eventually even he can t hold it together any more, and then one day tragedy strikes
Based on the award-winning film by Kore-eda Hirokazu, this is a powerfully moving novel about four children who become invisible to almost everyone in their community and manage for a time to survive on their own
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Praise For Nobody Knows…
"Akira looked around the apartment. At the garbage, the mess. The filthy sheets and quilts that they couldn’t wash anymore because there was no water. At Shige’s dirty feet, Kyoko clutching their mother’s blouse with the white flowers on it. At Yuki’s big, big eyes just staring at him."
from the book