Saturday, October 30, 2010

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Publisher:  Amulet Books
Pages:  320
Source:  Library
Genre:  Middle Grade Historical Fiction/Biography

Manjiro was only fourteen years old and working on a fishing boat when a freak storm cause them to be marooned on an island.  This is where I learned something interesting.  The law of that time siad anyone leaving the country and returning would be put to death.  Manjiro is reminded of this.  Later they are rescued and taken to Hawaii.  The captain takes a liking to Manjiro and takes him home with him.  Manjiro finds out first hand about prejudice.  However, he doesn't let it get in his way.  Later on he goes to California for the Gold Rush.  He makes enough money to buy his own ship and sails back to Japan where his is captured and imprisoned.  About this same time the Americans start entering  the Japanese ports and Manjiro plays an important role in bringing the two countries together.  I was so amazed to find this was a true story.  This would make a wonderful addition to my book shelves at school.

(The opinions expressed here are mine and not those of the other panalists)

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