Kaboom from Above

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Kaboom from Above
Author: Naoko Uozumi
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591150061
188 pages
13.0 x 19.5 cm / 5.2 x 7.8 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 10+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2016
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


Karin Takakura is a vivacious eighth-grader who has a habit of blurting out whatever comes into her head without much thought. Recently three of her friends have told her she’s being insensitive and should learn to stop and think before she speaks.

On her way home from school one day Karin runs into classmate Riko Imai, a socially awkward girl who gets good grades but mostly keeps to herself, has no friends, and is dreading the school trip that’s scheduled next month. The two girls live in the same apartment building, but they have little else in common and Riko spends her time surfing the Web, so they’ve never really connected. As they are riding the elevator together, a massive lightning strike results in the two girls switching bodies. Completely different in appearance, personality, and family circumstances, the two must now begin figuring out how to adapt—all to tremendously entertaining effect.

Suddenly being forced to experience life in someone else’s shoes rapidly expands the girls’ horizons. They learn and grow by interacting with a new family, experiencing first love, and discovering what others think of them, and they begin to understand and accept themselves in ways they had not been able to before. For example, when Karin in Riko’s body gets teased for being chubby, she feels hurt, but it also makes her reflect on things she’d said before without thinking. She realizes that how the other person feels about what you say is more important than your own impulse for saying it. From then on, she learns to think about the other person before she speaks.

The experience shows the two teenagers how they can remain true to their unique selves while also relating to others in ways that respect their separate uniqueness.