Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne

Rick Riordan brought Greek and Egyptian mythology into the present day in his Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles series.  In her Takeshita Demons series, Cristy Burne, brings Japanese fairy tales and folklore into modern day England, and introduces us to some creepy Japanese demons, called Yokai.

Miku Takashita always had a close relationship with her grandmother, Baba, who taught her all about the yokai all around us.  When Miku and her family move from Japan to England, she has no idea about the trouble that follows her family.  She knows she’s in trouble when her releaving teacher turns out to be a nukekubi, then mysterious strangers turn up at her home, and Japanese demons kidnap her baby brother.  It’s up to her and her best friend Cait to break into their snow-blocked school and get him back.

Takeshita Demons is an exciting and creepy story that young readers will gobble up.  There is something for everyone, with plenty of action, mystery and chills, all wrapped up in Japanese folklore. Children will relate well to Miku because she’s just an ordinary girl who gets caught up in a battle with with Japanese demons who believe that her family is special.  Miku doesn’t believe that she is special but does what she needs to to protect her family.  Cristy Burne introduces us to some creepy yokai (demons) like the Noppera-bo who can look like anyone they choose, and Nukekubi whose head can fly off when its body is sleeping.  Cristy even gives you some extra information about the yokai in Takeshita Demons at the end of the book, and you can learn more about them on her website.

I really like Takeshita Demons because it’s short but scary.  It’s a perfect introduction to myth and folklore, and would be especially good for those girls who’ve outgrown fairies and want more of a challenge.  I think it would also be a great stepping stone to the Percy Jackson series, or even a series to recommend to those who have already read them.  I certainly can’t wait to read more in the Takeshita Demons series.

The next book in the series is The Filth Licker and you can learn more about it later this week.

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