Hachiko Waits

Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Machiyo Kodaira

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

"Profoundly sad and hopeful at the same time . . . Hachiko Waits shows us the very best in life; loyalty, devotion, our ability to love-all taught by a beloved, intelligent, and heroic dog. I love it." -Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Award-winning author of Sarah Plain and Tall

The loyalty and devotion of a dog has no bounds

What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi, you are the best dog in all of Japan." Professor Ueno speaks these words to his faithful dog before boarding the train to work every morning. And every afternoon just before three o'clock, Hachi is at the train station to greet his beloved master.

One day, the train arrives at the station without the professor. Hachi waits.

For ten years Hachi waits for his master to return. Not even Yasuo, the young boy who takes care of Hachi, can persuade him to leave his post.

Hachiko Waits is a novel inspired by a true story. Readers will be touched by the story of Hachiko and his impact on the people of Japan.
Hachiko Waits is a 2005 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter Four

From that day on, Hachi walked to the train station with Professor Ueno every morning and met his train every afternoon. The Professor knew that Hachi ran home after his train left the station because his housekeeper told him so. Hachi kept himself very busy while the Professor was at work. He cleaned his paws and chased his tail. He sniffed the wind and chewed on sticks. He often took long naps in the sun under the cherry tree in the yard. But he always woke up in time to return to the station to meet his master's train.

The Station Master checked the time as soon as


Praise for Hachiko Waits

“Hachiko embodies all the best qualities of a dog. He is loyal, brave, gentle, and childlike. Based on a true story from Japan, this is a beautiful tribute to a historic dog.”—Book Sense Pick of the List, Fall 2004

“Lesléa Newman has done an amazing thing. She has written a book that is both profoundly sad and hopeful at the same time. When the world needs such a story, Hachiko Waits shows us the very best in life: loyalty, devotion, our ability to love, to nurture, to care about someone other than ourselves—all taught by a beloved, intelligent and heroic dog. The voice and the art are authentically Japanese, though the heart of the book and its meanings cross all cultures. This book is for all ages. I love it.”—Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Award-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall

“This will be popular with dog lovers; consider having a packet of tissues on hand.”—Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Machiyo Kodaira

  • Lesléa Newman is a poet, an animal lover, and the author of Runaway Dreidel!, Cats, Cats, Cats!, Daddy’s Song, and other picture books. Her awards include the Parents' Choice Silver Medal and a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has a B.S. in education from the University of Vermont and a Certificate of Poetics from Naropa Institute, where she was Allen Ginsburg’s apprentice. She has worked as a preschool teacher, secretary, waitress, freelance reporter, and sales clerk, and now teaches writing for children and young adults at Spalding University. She lives in western Massachusetts. Machiyo Kodaira is a native of Tokyo, Japan, and a graduate of Parsons School of Design. Hachi's story was Ms. Kodaira's first book for young readers.
  • Lesléa Newman Mary Vasquez
    Lesléa Newman



Teacher's Guide


Available Formats and Book Details

Hachiko Waits

Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Machiyo Kodaira

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Indiana Young Hoosier Award Master List, Great Lakes Book Award - Master List, Kansas State Reading Circle, Kansas William Allen White Award Master List, Alabama Emphasis on Reading Award, West Virginia Children's Book Award Master List, Charlotte Zolotow Award / Honor Book, ASPCA Henry Bergh Award, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize - Nominee, Book Sense Children's Pick, Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master Lis, Illinois Bluestem Book Award
  • Trade Paperback


  • Hardcover



Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)