BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Translucent (vol. 1) by Kazuhiro Okamoto, translated by Heidi Plechl [in Bloomsbury Review]

TranslucentWhile teenage readers will surely enjoy this manga too, adults can learn a little something about teenage dynamics. Shizuka Shiroyama, a thoughtful, timid young girl, suffers from the mysterious “Translucent Syndrome,” which means she cyclically starts to fade and then becomes totally invisible about the time of her period, and more often when she is stressed. Metaphor, anyone?

Neither cause nor cure for the syndrome is known by the medical world, but Shizuka (her name literally means “quiet” in Japanese) seems to be the only one who is able to unfade back into view. Two special classmates – a rambunctious, lovable boy and the class beauty who only wants to be left alone – rally around Shizuka and make sure that even when she’s invisible, she’s anything but forgotten.

Review: “Windows: Asian Literature in Translation: New & Notable Books,” The Bloomsbury Review, September/October 2007

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2007 (United States)


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