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Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
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Heart of a Samurai (2010)

by Margi Preus

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5553717,987 (4.1)18
  1. 00
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Steve.Gourley)
    Steve.Gourley: This is another work of fiction set in the same period of history as Heart of a Samurai...and features a lot of the same Asian/American relations featured in this book.
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
A wonderful book with a historical significance that I was never aware of. There's nothing like reading a great story and learning from it as well. ( )
  trezzadude | Sep 7, 2016 |
I really liked that it was a true story, and I loved all the reproductions of the documents, especially Manjiro's drawings.

I loved how he was Manjiro" all his life, even when he was "John Mung." In other words, the author tells us that her research indicates that he kept his sense of Japanese self even through his American adventures, even at the times when he felt he had no hope of getting back to Japan.

I really liked the themes and the bits that I learned. For example I appreciated that he felt that he could help bridge peaceful relations between Japan and America (and that, apparently, he did).

I'm thankful for the appendices, including the author's note that the two characters I found least believable were invented. I'm thankful that this does seem carefully researched and presented.

But I gotta say, I just didn't really enjoy it. And I don't know how many children would. Some, of course - it does have adventure, a bit of humor, interesting facts... and I did keep turning the pages rather than closing it and going to sleep....

(Maybe that's my problem - maybe I read it too fast.)

Well, I do recommend it if you're trying to decide whether to read it or not. I liked it more than I expected to, after all. Still, 3.49 stars. ;)" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
(5.0)
  mrsforrest | Oct 15, 2014 |
Manjiro is fishing with his friends and a giant storm comes and they get shipwrecked on a island. I liked this book because this story keeps you on your toes and full of adventer. will Mahjiro Retern home or will he be they for the rest of his life? ( )
  SethKim | May 24, 2014 |
Heart of a Samurai is based on the story of Manjiro, the first Japanese man to go to America. It was as a result of his fishing ship being blown out to see and being saved by a whaling ship. Despite his desire to return to Japan Manjiro is interested in learning all he can about the people who saved him and the country he is living in. He faces plenty of racism but he doesn’t let it get him down. This is a fascinating story about a very important figure in the opening of Japan’s borders. I have already recommend this to two friends and would recommend it to older kids interested in history, Japan, or who have ever felt oppressively unique. ( )
  Anna.Nash | Mar 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.… (more)

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