Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Samurai Week for Kids

It is Samurai Week on the blog!  Now what kid doesn't want to journey back in time and learn about the elite Japanese warriors who were honorable, brave and disciplined?  Weapons are wielded, battles are fought and heads roll!  Good stuff.

Today's book is a biography is about a Japanese warrior from the 12th century.  His tale is a saga that reads like an exciting piece of fiction.  It encompasses violence, courage, strategy and selflessness that will suck the reader into this compelling narrative.

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Title: Samurai Rising

Author: Pamela S. Turner

Target: Grades 6 and up

Series: No

What this book is about: 
This book tells the true story of Yoshitsune, an 12th century samurai in Japan.  He is exiled as a child, and runs away as a teenager.  He becomes the most famous fighter of all time as he leads his soldiers into bloody battles to restore his family name and return them to power.  He is immortalized when his family eventually betrays him!

Why I love this book:
  • Ok, when the tag line on the back of the book says “Very few people in this story die of natural causes.”  I was hooked!
  • I love nonfiction books that create a compelling story for kids, and this one does just that.  You will think you are reading a book of fiction but do not be fooled.  This book is insanely well researched, despite the almost 900 years that have passed since the events occurred.  
  • Kids will get a look at the life and training of a samurai and at the world of ancient Japan. Being a samurai wasn’t always the noble calling that we think of and I believe children will be surprised at how undignified the fighting could be. 
  • While they play a small role in the story, I did like how the author addressed the place of women in ancient Japan and was pleasantly surprised by their strength and opportunities.
Who this book is for:  
This book is wonderful for kids who love stories on the art of war or books about battles.  It reads like a piece of fiction, so even kids who are less interested in nonfiction books will be surprised by how they are drawn into this story.  

Final thoughts: 
Be warned, there are some bloody deaths and a lot of severed heads, the makings of a can’t put down biography … now how often do you hear that?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Samurai Rising.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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