Ashihara, Hinako. Sand Chronicles 1. VIZ Media, 2008. 175 pages. ISBN 978-1-42151-477-2
Ann is rifling through her old stuff and comes across an hour glass and reminisces from when she got the hour glass up until the present. When Ann was twelve years old her parents had gotten a divorce and Ann and her mother moved back to her mother’s hometown to live with Ann’s grandparents. It takes Ann a while to deal with this, but she eventually meets some new friends, including Daigo. She makes a wish at temple that her and Daigo will be together always. One night she came home to find out that her mother was missing. Not too long later they found her dead by a cliff. Now Ann feels even more lonely and abandoned. Daigo tries to be there fore her and she leans on Daigo for support. She really likes Daigo. Her friends talk her into going to a camp for a couple weeks during break and Daigo goes too. On the bus ride back, Ann and Daigo kiss for the first time.
This is a graphic novel about a young woman who recants her first love while growing up and the hard times she faced. Ann is a fickle character, but I can see a lot of teen girls being able to understand her well. She cares deeply for all of her friends and family and she always has a hard time letting go. Ann had a sad childhood. Her parents got divorced and soon after her mother passed away leaving Ann feeling like she was all alone. Her friendship with Daigo was rough at times, but they loved each other fervently and Ann made a wish at temple that she and Daigo would be together always. This is a wonderful first love and coming of age story that will endure the hearts of teens that are experiencing the same feelings and situations that Ann went through when she was a teen. This is only the first volume of the ten volume manga series.
After tragedy strikes her family, Ann leans on her best friend and unexpectedly falls in love.
Hinako Ashihara (芦原 妃名子 Ashihara Hinako) was born January 15 in the city of Hyogo, Japan. She is a female Japanese manga author and artist. She has produced the manga Sand Chronicles (consisting of ten volumes), Forbidden Dance (consisting of four volumes), “SOS,” “Ten-nen Bitter Chocolate,” Homemade Home, and “Chouchou Kumo” of better known as (Butterfly Coud).
Ashihara is the winner of the 50th ShogakuanManga Award for her manga Sand Chronicles. The first work that she published was “Sono hanashi okotowari shimasu” (aka, That Sweet Organ Song) which premiered in Bessatsu Shojo Comins, a monthly Japanese manga magazine, in the year 1994.
Graphic Novel/Realistic Fiction
Ann’s parents just got divorced and she had to move away.
Reading Level/Interest Level:
Why I included this book:
This is a good realistic manga. A lot of manga are science fiction or fantasy, but I was happy to find this one that had no element of either science fiction or fantasy. Teen girls will love it.