Battle of the Kids’ Books 第1ラウンド第4マッチの結果

School Library JournalのBattle of Kids' Books  第1ラウンド第4マッチの取り組みの結果が出ました。

対戦Lips Touch vs. The Lost




The Lost Conspiracy!


審判のHelen Frostは次のように語っています。


If I had come across these two books side-by-side on a table in a library or bookstore, I might have chosen the wrong one.


Page 1 of Lips Touch: Three Times is seductive, exquisite, perfectly polished. The book is 265 pages, broken into three “evening-sized” chunks. Perfect, I might have thought, I can fit this into a weekend’s reading time.

Lips Touch:Three Timesの最初のページは魅惑的で、精緻で、完璧に洗練されている。265ページが3つの「夕べの読書サイズ」に分かれているから週末に読み切るのにぴったり、と思っただろう。

Page 1 of The Lost Conspiracy has a confusing little metaphor mashup—plural “senses” compared to a singular “hook on a fishing line;” conflicting verbs “tether” and “reel;” and then in an attempt to clarify the singular/plural problem, another comparison, the Lost moving their senses independently, “like snails’ eyes on stalks.” Huh? How many pages is this book? 566.

The Lost Conspiracy の最初のページは混乱する暗喩のまぜこぜである。たとえば、複数の感覚が単数の「釣り糸の針」に例えられ、 “tether(束縛する、縄で繋ぐという意味)”と “reel (つり糸を巻き上げる)という矛盾する動詞が使われ、単数複数の矛盾を説明しようとして、Lostがその感覚を別々に動かせるさまを “like snails’ eyes on stalks “ (カタツムリの目が別々に動くように)と比喩している。はあ?この本何ページあるの?566ページ?

Anita? Trade you for Sweethearts of Rhythm?
Oh, that’s not allowed? Okay, then.

Anita(別の審判)、 Sweethearts of Rhythm (その審判が担当する薄い本)と交換してくれない?それ駄目なの。オーケー。それでは…

As I began reading The Lost Conspiracy, my grouchiness about that first page set me off on the wrong foot. It was a slow start for me, so much landscape to cover, so many people (not to mention volcanoes) to get to know, and then, bam—just when you start to know your way around, you have to get your bearings all over again. But I kept reading, and within a few hundred pages, I was completely captivated by the characters, the story, the culture, the deep and meaningful intrigue of it all. After I finished, when I returned to see how I felt about the beginning, the confusion on the first page seemed minor; beyond that one page, the writing is clear and careful, often poetic. (Have you ever wondered why it’s a compliment to call prose “poetic,” and an insult to call poetry “prosaic”? I digress.)
Hardinge seamlessly introduces the culture and history of Gullstruck Island by walking her characters, Hathin and Arilou, through the landscape, which they/we, navigate by remembering/learning traditional stories. The volcanoes are characters, with powerful personalities and relationships among themselves as well as between them and the people.

The Lost Conspiracy は読み始めの不機嫌さで出だしの関係は悪かった。広い土地、多くの登場人物(そのうえ火山)を知らねばならず、スローな出だしだった。本の舞台になっている場所や人々をようやく理解したところで、またもどっかん。再び我慢を強いられることに。それでも読み続けたところ、何百ページのうちに、登場人物、ストーリー、文化、すべての深さと、意味深長な筋書き、それらすべてに完璧に虜になっていた。最初読み始めたときに感じたことを、読後に振り返ってみたら、それらは大したことではないように思えた。その最初のページを除いて、文章は明瞭で慎重に書かれており、詩的でもあった。
Hardingeは、登場人物の Hathin と Arilouを歩き回らせることでGullstruck島の文化と歴史をよどみなく読者に紹介している。島の景観をとおしてその地に伝わる伝統的な物語を知るのである。火山たちは、人間とだけでなく火山同士のパワフルな関係と人格を持った登場人物たちなのだ。

 I was swept into my second reading, and happily kept going, reading the entire 566 pages all over again. Beautiful, deep, and strong, this is a book to reward a relaxed and attentive reader of any age.


I marked over 50 places I could quote as examples of my delight. I’ll offer two. “Nundestruth,” the name of the language parents don’t want their children to use, is a condensation of “Not under this roof.” Like so much in this book, uniquely imagined, while at the same time universal and recognizable. And watching Jimboly in action, creating a mob scene—jaw-dropping the first time I came to it, equally impressive on my second reading when I was watching for it.
I’ll mention one quibble—I thought the word “imbecile” as shorthand for a person’s intellectual limitations had been retired decades ago. I’m not saying it should read, “It’s possible to be Lost and still be intellectually limited.”  Just that Hardinge is skillful enough to develop this aspect of Arilou’s life with the same degree of nuance that she uses to bring us to understood what it means to be Lost.
But beyond that—way beyond that—the entire book is finely tuned, magnificently constructed, a beautifully told story, well worth the telling.


So then I got a little worried. What if Lips Touch: Three Times is equally compelling—
and I can only pick one. For awhile I thought that would be true, and it was actually a problem I was looking forward to solving.

ここで作者は、「もし Lips Touch: Three Times が同じくらい素晴らしかったらどうしよう。ひとつしか選ぶことはできないのだから」と心配しています。

In the first short story, Kizzy becomes so real, so quickly. Her two friends, Cactus and Evie, and the conversations among the three of them, are both funny and heartbreaking—completely believable. The beautiful dangerous boy, Jack Husk—the goblin in disguise—is believable, too—and you can’t h
elp hoping Kizzy gets to kiss him, even when, like Kizzy, you know it’s not too smart of her to do so.

最初のストーリーでKizzyは、瞬く間に現実的な存在になる。彼女の友人CactusとEvieとの会話は、可笑しくそして悲痛で、完璧に真実味がある。Goblinが偽装している美しくて危険な少年 Jack Huskも真実味があり、Kizzyが彼からキスされるのを期待せずにはられない。たとえ、Kizzyのようにそれをしてはならないと知っていても。

It’s the last sentence of this first story that threw me. The surface story is so carefully crafted, with the underlying grandmother-gypsy-goblin one, supported by the gorgeous drawings, submerged just enough—that in the last moment, it’s the contemporary “real-life” Kizzy, skipping school to do something dangerous, I found myself watching.

私をめんくらわせたのは最後のセンテンスだ。この物語の表層は巧妙に作り上げられていて、ゴージャスな挿絵もあり、 祖母、ジプシー、ゴブリンという基盤になる物語がちょうどよい具合に隠れている。問題は、最後の部分、現代の『現実』のKizzyが学校をさぼって危険なことをしようとしているところだ。

And my reaction was: What? You’re letting us fall in love with this beautiful, vulnerable girl and then abandoning her in a cemetery—kissing someone you have oh-so-skillfully led us to believe is (okay, “might be”) a serial killer?


Cactus? Evie? Christina Rossetti?
Chapter Four?

It made it hard for me to trust the other two stories. And the stories demand a lot of trust; they take us into some pretty rough territory. I more or less lost interest until a real human boy named Tom took Esme’s long red braid in his hand in the third story. He thought she wouldn’t feel it, but she did, and it pleased her. Such a sweet gesture. Like the kids in  Saint Pock Mark’s Finishing School For Cannibals in the first story, these two were real and I cared about them.

Unfortunately, there was a lot along the way in these two stories that I did not enjoy reading at all, and would not put in the hands of young readers, although I’m impressed with much in the book, and look forward to more books by Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo.

不運なことに、次の2つのストーリーでは、まったく気に入らなかったところが沢山ある。この本の多くの部分に感心はしたが、私なら年齢の低い読者の手には渡さない。Laini TaylorとJim Di Bartoloの今後の作品に期待する。

My choice became clear.
The Lost Conspiracy sets out to do something truly ambitious and does it, a fully realized novel that I am happy to send on to Angela, maybe Megan and Katherine, and, I expect, to generations of young readers.

The Lost Conspiracy は真に野心があることをやろうとして、しかも成功している完璧に成立した小説である。(二回戦、三回戦、決勝の審判である)Angela, Megan ,Katherineに喜んで送り出せるし、次世代、その次の世代の若い読者にもそうである。

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