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UMass Amherst Libraries

Japanese kids & teens series

This is a guide for librarians, teachers, and students who are interested in finding reading material appropriate for their language level in Japanese.

Read & Watch

In North America, we are used to seeing novels published first and then adapted for the screen. In Japan, however, you will also find manga published first that are later adapted for film or novels. In that case you will often see the term ノベライズ (novelize)ノベライズ本 or 小説化 used in describing the literary version. 

For example, Shogakukan has a series called 小学館ジュニアシネマ文庫 for students who want to read after having watched a movie. 

ホームレス中学生 is an example of an autobiography that has been adapted into many forms: rewritten for children, released as a manga, and adapted for live action movie and shown as a television drama. 

星守る犬 started out as a manga, was turned into a live action movie and later novelized. 

告白 by 湊かなえ started out as a novel/short story, was turned into a live action film and later released as a manga as well. 

Other examples:


デューク and きらきらひかる by 江國香織

アニメージュコミックス publishes books that are chiefly scenes from anime with a small amount of the dialogue. It can be a good way to build confidence in reading. 

文芸まんがシリーズ (ぎょうせい)is probably in many collections and several language teachers are now using it in their third and fourth year classes. 

There is also a new series coming out on video that also ties in with reading. Take a look at the Bungo 日本文学シネマ DVD series and the 星新一ショットショット DVD.