Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heart of a Samurai

Margi Preus
Amulet Books 2010

When a storm at sea takes Manjiro's fishing boat far from the coast of his beloved Japan, he fears he will never see his home again. After months on a desert island, he and his companions are rescued by terrifying barbarians who hunt the oceans for great whales. No foreigners are allowed to land on Japan's shores, so Manjiro has never seen men like these. At first frightened, then curious, Manjiro gradually befriends the captain of the ship, who offers to take him back to America, a land that no Japanese person has ever seen before.

In this story of courage and overcoming prejudice, Manjiro discovers a new life in America, but never loses his longing for his homeland. In the end, he becomes instrumental in forging the first friendship between the two nations he had called home.

This book is a fascinating fictionalized biography of a man who brought two cultures together for the first time. Recommended for readers 11 and up.

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