Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

heartIn 1841, while on a fishing trip to earn food for his family, 14-year-old Manjiro and his crew become stranded on an island off the coast of their home, Japan. With very little to eat and the remaining crew hurt or sick, Manjiro, who has always dreamed of becoming a Samurai, decides to be brave and search the island for help. While on the other side of the island, he spots a giant ship sailing close by, and summoning all his courage, Manjiro swims out to the ship. He is shocked to find that the captain and crew are “blue-eyed barbarians,” the “devils” his countrymen have feared and banned from their shores for the past 250 years. Although the captain is kind, the ship is a whaling ship and the voyage is dangerous and long. Manjiro learns much from the captain and the crew, but he is always torn between the excitement of adventure and the dream of going home. This book is based on the true story of a boy named Manjiro, who had the heart of a Samurai, and who is said to be the first Japanese person to visit the new world. Review by Loretta Eysie

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