The Secret of the Blue Glass by Tomiko Inui

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On the first floor of the big house of the Moriyama family, is a small library. There, on the shelves next to the old books, live the Little People, a tiny family who were once brought from England to Japan by a beloved nanny. Since then, each generation of Moriyama-family children has inherited the responsibility of filling the blue glass with milk to feed the Little People and it's now Yuri's turn. 
The little girl dutifully fulfils her task but the world around the Moriyama family is changing. Japan is caught in the whirl of what will soon become World War II, turning her beloved older brother into a fanatic nationalist and dividing the family for ever. Sheltered in the garden and the house, Yuri is able to keep the Little People safe, and they do their best to comfort Yuri in return, until one day owing to food restrictions milk is in shorter supply...

About Tomiko Inui

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Born in Tokyo in 1924, Tomiko Inui joined a publishing house in 1950, where she began working as an editor, as well as writing books for children. She published many books over her long career, winning prizes along the way including the Mainishi Publishing Culture Award and the Akaitori Award for Children’s Literature. The Secret of the Blue Glass is the first of her books to be translated into English. She died in 2002. Translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori.
Author Residence: Japan (deceased)
Author Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Published July 26, 2016 by Pushkin Children's Books. 192 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret of the Blue Glass

The Bookbag

I'm loathe to put that down to the translation, as the same adaptor has previously worked on the same publisher's The Whale That Fell in Love With a Submarine, which I also read recently and found to be a superb collection of tightly-written, vivid and evocative pieces about animals in wartime Ja...

Jul 13 2015 | Read Full Review of The Secret of the Blue Glass