Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Heart of a Samurai is based on the true story of Manjiro, a 14 year old Japanese boy who ended up on an American whaling ship in 1841.  Japan didn't allow any foreigners into the country until many years later so Manjiro and the others with him who were rescued by the whalers have only heard stories of the savages from other countries.  Manjiro is curious about the American crew and soon finds that they are not the monsters he has always feared.  When he is offered the chance, he goes back to America with the captain of the ship to be raised as his son.  But even though he is happy with his new life, Manjiro still hopes to return to Japan one day to see his family there.  In real life, Manjiro was one of the biggest contributors to convincing the ruler of Japan to open the borders of the country but it didn't happen without some heartache for Manjiro along the way.