Gosh at last i finished this book, took me 2 days to finish. And here is my review
Splendid and awesome, highly recommended to those who are interested in childhood story and education.
Totto chan is a girl that full of passions and very active. With such personal traits it is not easy for a traditional school to educate her. She ended up being expelled from her first school because the teacher just couldn't manage her, she is such a nuisance to the others. Teachers eventually gave up on her and sadly she was expelled from her first school.
Her mother then sent her to Tomoe, and alternative school where the studying activities done in fun way, the pupils were given so much room to express their creativity, they were encouraged to go out and play, understand the nature, get the first hand experience from the real life practitioner (the farmer). There is no such thing as fixed seating arrangement in this school, children were free to chose in which chair they wanted to seat, and even they can even pick the subject they want to study, in short they were given such luxury of freedom which they wont get it in a conventional school, thanks to head master Mr Kobayashi the person she adored very much. He is children loving - teacher, who traveled and study the education in Europe and came back to Japan to set up the school of his dream.
Tobby Chan enjoyed school life very much, and this book is compilation of the experiences she went through during that school period, the setting was in Japanese world war 2 period.
There are some story that touched me and remind me how innocent we were as a children. When she found coin in the train and felt guilty but somehow she hid the money in the thicket hole only eventually found out later that the money mysteriously disappeared (I still thinking where the hell the money gone). The other time when she jumped onto the piece of paper that laying on the school ground only to find out that it was a temporary cover of a cesspool, and other time she ended up jumping into mixture of wall plaster and get suck in there until mother come to the rescue.
And as a child she had to deal with the feeling of loss. She lost her German shepherd (Rocky, the big one who is very loyal to her yet he once bitten her ear to bleed), lost his buddy Takahashi with whom she climbed her school tree together (this is very sad part). She went to hospital to visit the wounded soldiers, and console them by singing some children songs and yet since she didn't know the songs she only stood there silence and she eventually sang her heart out the very simple song the used to sing before having their lunch and miraculously brought the soldier to tears (very touching part)
The book is ended with American bombardment, the school was destroyed completely, and until Mr Kobayahi died he couldn't rebuild the school and it turned out that the very area where the school stood (it consisted of some used car trains) now converted into a shopping mall. Sad ending indeed. But all in all it is very good book to read and worth reading, highly recommended one !!!!