Author: Natsuki Takaya
Publication Date: 2001
Genre: Manga or graphic novel
Reading Level/Interest Age: 14 and up
Plot: Tohru Honda, who had lost her mother (her only legal guardian) in a terrible car accident. Being forced to live in the forest outside of town in a tent, she stumbles upon the Sohma family household where Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma currently stay. She is warmly welcomed into their home and they insist on her staying with them for the time being. Tohru insists on cooking delicious meals and cleaning their household in exchange for their kindness. Eventually, she learns the secret of their family curse which is whenever anyone in the family is embraced by the opposite sex he or she turns into a specific animal of the Chinese zodiac. Being that she is the only female in the household, this can be somewhat of a problem.
Critical Evaluation: This Japanese manga is an adorable story about a kind family with dark past. The affiliation with the Chinese Zodiac intrigues many readers and this manga illustrates it well allowing teens to easily follow along on the famous story. This book is the first volume of a 23 volume series and much of the series illustrates Tohru coping with loss, enjoying the company of family and friends, and experiencing true love. By reading this book and the ones that follow, all readers will enjoy following Tohru‘s footsteps and walking allow with her on her path to becoming part of the Sohma family.
Reader’s Annotation: When a door closes, another one opens. This is the case for Tohru Honda when her mother passes away and then the door of the Sohma family opens her way.
Author: Retrieved from Wikipedia –
“She was born on July 7, 1973. Takaya is left-handed and once revealed that she wanted to be a manga artist since first grade, when her sister started drawing. She was born inShizuoka, Japan, but was raised in Tokyo, where she made her debut in 1992. She enjoys video games such as the Final Fantasy series or Sakura Wars, or working on her different manga series, such as Fruits Basket, which is the second best-selling shōjo manga ever in Japan, and the top selling shōjo manga in North America. Fruits Basket has also been adapted into a twenty-six-episode anime series. In 2001, Takaya received a Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga for Fruits Basket.”
- Chinese calendar or Chinese Zodiac
- Besides the animal that represents your birth year, what other animal do you think you are based on personality?
Challenging Issues: N/A
Why This Book? This book/manga series is one of my favorite mangas of all time. I fell in love with the anime series and the manga because of the adorable storyline.