KYODO NEWS SERVICE

TOKYO —  A work by Japanese author Sachiko Kashiwaba has received this year’s Batchelder Award for being the most outstanding children’s book originally published outside the U.S. in a language other than English, according to the American Library Association.

“Temple Ally Summer” by the 68-year-old, originally published in Japanese as “Kimyoji Yokocho no Natsu” by Kodansha Ltd., is a mysterious fantasy tale about the summer vacation of a ghost girl and her classmates. It was translated into English by Avery Fischer Udagawa and released in the U.S. by Restless Books.

The annual prize by the association, officially known as the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, is given to a U.S. publisher for an outstanding foreign children’s book translated into English the preceding year.

Kashiwaba, who lives in Morioka, northeastern Japan, said she was surprised to receive the prize but “hopes many children in the United States will read the book.”

Other popular works by Kashiwaba include “Kiri no Mukou no Fushigi na Machi” (The Marvelous Village Veiled in Mist) and “Misaki no Mayoiga” (The House of the Lost on the Cape), a novel inspired by the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

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