Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Heart of a Samurai
By Margi Preus
Lexile = 760
I did NOT expect to like this book. But, it was just awarded the Newbery Honor, so I had to read it.
Heart of a Samurai is about a shipwrecked Japanese fishing boat that is "rescued" by an American Whaling boat. The crew then sails off. They cannot return to Japan because at this time (the 1800's) any foreigner caught by Japan is killed. Also, any Japanese people that have been with foreigners are also killed.
Manjiro is a 14-year-old boy that is taken aboard the whaling vessel. All the other Japanese keep to themselves, but Manjiro learns English and becomes friends with the captain. In time, he actually goes home with the captain as his "son" to America.
The story isn't over there. Manjiro's story fills this book and the book covers nearly his whole life. I learned so much about Japan, history, and even whaling. I really liked this book!