Heart of a Samurai
Margi Preus has created a masterpiece with this fascinating, exciting, and factual historical novel. In 1841, fourteen-year-old Manjiro and his four friends find themselves fighting for survival on a deserted island after their fishing boat is destroyed in a storm. Luckily, an American whaling ship rescues them before they perish. They cannot return to Japan because the country's borders are closed to both foreigners and to citizens who have strayed. Imprisonment or even death would await them. Manjiro is curious, intelligent and eager to help with the work on Captain Whitfield's ship. They become very close and Captain Whitfield takes Manjiro home with him to Massachusetts where he attends school and helps on the Whitfield's farm. He is believed to be the first Japanese person to set foot in America. Over the next ten years, Manjiro has more adventures on the high seas, pans for gold in the great California Gold Rush, and has experiences he never dreamed of. But his greatest dream has always been to be a samurai. Manjiro wants to return home to his family in Japan. He wonders if his friends are still in Hawaii, where they chose to stay rather than chance meeting barbarians in America. Read this thrilling, amazing account of Manjiro's life and discover what happens as he pursues his dream and what truly makes the Heart of a Samurai.