Currently viewing the category: "Mini Reviews of Level 5 Books"

This is a list of all the Level 5 books that are part of my own collection; it’ll be updated as I keep reading (and buying) them.

From Extensive Reading in Japanese, the definition of a Level 5 book:

Level 5: Beginning at this level, material is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the lower levels. Level 5 books usually have more than 100 pages and fewer illustrations. Some kanji have furigana, but not all of them. Stories are fully developed and more detailed. Japanese native readers would be ten to thirteen years old.

I’ve added Amazon links for the benefit of having title images and just in case anyone wants to subsidize my reading, but if you’re interested in ordering any of these, I’d also recommend you look them up on Kinokuniya’s website or YesAsia.com and compare prices and shipping costs. They may also be available at a library near you or be available through inter-library loan; you can look them up at WorldCat.org. Finally, if you’re in the Tacoma area, I’m setting up a weekly extensive reading group through the Tacoma Language and Culture meetup group; feel free to join the group and come read any of these!

Also, all title translations are my own unless otherwise indicated, names are family name first, then given name, and 作 and 絵 mean “author” and “illustrator,” respectively.

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This is an incomplete list of all the Level 5 books available from Nikkei Bunko, a Japanese-language library operated by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington; it’ll be updated as I keep reading them.

From Extensive Reading in Japanese, the definition of a Level 5 book:

Level 5: Beginning at this level, material is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the lower levels. Level 5 books usually have more than 100 pages and fewer illustrations. Some kanji have furigana, but not all of them. Stories are fully developed and more detailed. Japanese native readers would be ten to thirteen years old.

I’ve added Amazon links for the benefit of having title images and just in case anyone wants to subsidize my reading, but if you’re interested in ordering any of these, I’d also recommend you look them up on Kinokuniya’s website or YesAsia.com and compare prices and shipping costs. They may also be available at a library near you or be available through inter-library loan; you can look them up at WorldCat.org. Also, all title translations are my own unless otherwise indicated, names are family name first, then given name, and 作 and 絵 mean “author” and “illustrator,” respectively.

心を育てる偉人のお話 光をかかげた人たち 3
Luminaries: Stories of Great People to Nurture The Heart #3
作:西本 鶏介(にしもと けいすけ, Nishimoto Keisuke)
絵:狩野 富貴子(かりの ふきこ, Karino Fukiko)
Level 5 本, 199 pages, 16,300 words (est.)

I was proud to finish this book, as it’s the longest one I’ve read so far. It contains 29 stories from the lives of inventors, politicians, authors and so on (both Japanese people and people from other countries), along with some basic biographical information about each of them. Its weakness was that it was slightly on the preachy side; even though most of the stories were interesting in and of themselves there was something about the presentation that became tedious, and it took me longer to get through it than it should have because I wasn’t motivated to finish. As far as its good points went, there were 29 short stories in all, I thought that the writing style was clear and easy to follow (important for such a long book) and they did a good job defining words that the reader might not know.

 

This is an incomplete list of all the Level 5 books available from the Pierce County Library; it’ll be updated as I keep reading them.

From Extensive Reading in Japanese, the definition of a Level 5 book:

Level 5: Beginning at this level, material is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the lower levels. Level 5 books usually have more than 100 pages and fewer illustrations. Some kanji have furigana, but not all of them. Stories are fully developed and more detailed. Japanese native readers would be ten to thirteen years old.

I’ve added Amazon links for the benefit of having title images and just in case anyone wants to subsidize my reading, but if you’re interested in ordering any of these, I’d also recommend you look them up on Kinokuniya’s website and compare shipping costs. Also, all title translations are my own unless otherwise indicated, names are family name first, then given name, and 作 and 絵 mean “author” and “illustrator,” respectively.

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This is an incomplete list of all the Level 5 books available from the Tacoma Public Library; it’ll be updated as I keep reading them.

From Extensive Reading in Japanese, the definition of a Level 5 book:

Level 5: Beginning at this level, material is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the lower levels. Level 5 books usually have more than 100 pages and fewer illustrations. Some kanji have furigana, but not all of them. Stories are fully developed and more detailed. Japanese native readers would be ten to thirteen years old.

I’ve added Amazon links for the benefit of having title images and just in case anyone wants to subsidize my reading, but if you’re interested in ordering any of these, I’d also recommend you look them up on Kinokuniya’s website and compare shipping costs. Also, all title translations are my own unless otherwise indicated, names are family name first, then given name, and 作 and 絵 mean “author” and “illustrator,” respectively.

歩いて行こう
Let’s Go Walking!
作:北 ふうこ(きた ふうこ, Kita Fūko)
絵:岡本 美子(おかもと よしこ, Okamoto Yoshiko)
Level 5 本, 83 pages, 5,600 words (est.)

Takeshi’s family moves to the country to be closer to his grandpa and for the benefit of his asthmatic sister Akane; it’s nothing like their old home and it’s hard to get used to, but the more time he spends there, walking with his sister and grandpa and learning about things like what color cucumber flowers are and how to make bamboo dragonflies, the more he comes to like the country life. I just love these books that are essentially a peek inside a family’s day-to-day life, even if there’s not much plot in the way I’m used to thinking about it.

鈴とリンのひみつレシピ!
Suzu and Rin’s Secret Recipe!
作:堀 直子(ほり なおこ, Hori Naoko)
絵:木村 いこ(きむら いこ, Kimura Iko)
Level 5 本, 140 pages, 6,100 words (est.)
Suzu’s dad is so busy with his new restaurant that he has to live there, and Suzu learns that she likes to cook for her mom and two sisters as well as her beloved dog, Rin. Her friend suggests that she enter a cooking contest, and Suzu can’t help but think it would be an opportunity to prove the power of rice to a critic who recently panned her dad’s restaurant for featuring it…

 

This is an incomplete list of all the Level 5 books available from the Tacoma Public Library; it’ll be updated as I keep reading them.

From Extensive Reading in Japanese, the definition of a Level 5 book:

Level 5: Beginning at this level, material is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the lower levels. Level 5 books usually have more than 100 pages and fewer illustrations. Some kanji have furigana, but not all of them. Stories are fully developed and more detailed. Japanese native readers would be ten to thirteen years old.

I’ve added Amazon links for the benefit of having title images and just in case anyone wants to subsidize my reading, but if you’re interested in ordering any of these, I’d also recommend you look them up on Kinokuniya’s website and compare shipping costs. Also, all title translations are my own unless otherwise indicated, names are family name first, then given name, and 作 and 絵 mean “author” and “illustrator,” respectively.

ジローのあくしゅ
A Handshake from Jirō
作:岸川 悦子(きしかわ えつこ, Kishikawa Etsuko)
絵:土田 義晴(つちだ よしはる, Tsuchida Yoshiharu)
Level 5 本, 125 pages, 5,700 words (est.)

My first level 5 book since I started this project, it wasn’t precisely hard, just long and with a higher proportion of unknown words than I tend to like. I understood the content and most of the details but missed just enough to annoy me, so apparently a book this level is currently about my limit, and I will try to stick to books that are a little easier for a while. I wonder if most level 5 books are about on this level, or if it’s a bit on the easy side since the narrator is a dog?

I’m actually feeling a bit of relief about reading these higher-level books because I missed having kanji around. For a Japanese language learner, used to thinking about kanji mastery as a benchmark, books in all hiragana are lonely; besides, kanji are fun, remove ambiguity and make reading quicker. It is kind of a joke among people who do translation for rom hacking; a hacker with little experience with Japanese will think saying “Translating this game should be easy! There’s no kanji!” is actually a selling point to prospective translators. To better ones than me, perhaps.