Posted in 2020, children's fiction, historical fiction, Margi Preus, Novel, Prime Reading

#HeartOfASamurai by @MargiPreus

In 1841, a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way. Manjiro, a fourteen-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives for some time in New England, and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the shogun to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.


[Manjiro squinted across the expanse of glittering sea at the line of dark clouds forming on the horizon]


(Amulet Books, 1 February 2011, first published 1 August 2010, 320 pages, ebook, borrowed from @AmazonKindle #PrimeReading)




This is historical fiction with a difference, written in the form of children’s fiction which I haven’t come across before. The author makes this work. The book is inspired by true events and the author adds a sense of authenticity by including photos and sketches scattered throughout. This is an entertaining read, the characters were well written and fleshed out and the author brings Manjiro’s experiences to life. I have no idea how historically accurate the book is but this doesn’t matter to me. I enjoyed the time I spend between the pages.


I live in Glasgow in the UK with my partner. I work in the Financial Services. I like reading especially Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King. I write fiction and poetry. I enjoy watching TV (Grimm, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Lip Service, The L Word etc). I like to play video games and am a fan of survival horror especially the Silent Hill franchise. I like to watch movies especially horror and anything where someone dies.

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