The Big Wave

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The Big Wave

Written By: Pearl S. Buck

Pages:  64

Grade Equivalent Reading Level:  4.2

Lexile Measure: 790L

Summary (written by Marie):

This book is about two best friends growing up in a fishing village in Japan. Life goes on as normal until one day a volcano erupts and a tsunami destroys their village. One of the boys, Jiya, loses not only his home but his entire family too. The rest of the story tells of how he grows up and the unspeakable sorrow that shrouds him for many years.

Marie’s Review (Mom):

I checked this book out from the library because it was both on Sonlight’s Core F reading list, as well as on My Father’s World’s library reading list. After skimming it though, I felt it was too much sadness for the girls right now. A  family member recently passed away and we are dealing with that. From what I understood, much of the story describes how Jiya spent most of his teen and young adult years trying to live life through the sorrow.  I didn’t read the end as I didn’t want to spoil it, but as I neared the last chapters it looked like it may have ended happy.

I have read some of Pearl S. Buck’s books in the past and loved them, and I really would like to read this one in the future – maybe as summer reading.  It looks well written and opens a window into the Japanese culture and the hazards they live with.

If any of you have read it, please let us know in the comments what you thought!

Christian Friendly:  It appears to be – Pearl S. Buck was the daughter of missionaries. I don’t know that this is a “Christian” book, but I did not see anything offensive.

Sensitive Readers:   Caution –

It’s another sad one, as the story starts out before the tsunami, not after.  The reader follows Jiya as he sees, lives and reacts to the destruction of his village.


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