Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heart of a Samurai

by Margi Preus
narrated by James Yaegashi
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, p2011, c2010.

Manjiro is just a humble fisherman from a small village in Japan. One day, a storm sends the vessel on which he works and his companions out to sea. They manage to wash up on an island, but in the 1840s, Japan is a closed country, and no one can come in - including Japanese fishermen who have washed up away from home. Will he ever return to his country?

I found this historical fiction about the first known Japanese person to come to the United States absolutely fascinating. You can't help but cheer for Manjiro as he learns to navigate a new way of life, a new language, and the prejudices of his new country. Though I listened to the book and enjoyed the narration, I highly recommend checking out the paper copy for the illustrations, some of which are copies of Manjiro's own drawings.

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