For those not familiar, this is a manga novel, and I found the story charming, the art breathtaking, the world created rich and fascinating. I was captured by the heart and compassion of this simple tale. It's violent in a fairy tale way, reflecting the real violence of human cultures that abandon their young. It's a very male story, but holds together despite that, as boyish imaginations transform their world, wistfully plunging between bravado and black depression. The art and story together create a magical-realist and consistent world that is forever crumbling, like ours, as we struggle through youth and age doing the best we can with what we have. Highly recommended.
Also highly recommended is the anime (with soundtrack by Plaid).