Book Review – Heart of a Samurai


The novel, “Heart of a Samurai” by Margi Preus, is a great nonfiction book for kids and teens 10 and up. “Heart of a Samurai” is a nonfiction adventure where a 14-year boy named Manjiro gets stranded on an island, far from his hometown in Japan, with a few other fishermen. They have been taught that beyond the island is a land filled with unknown monsters, demons, and barbarians. They also know that they can’t re-enter Japan after straying away.

After a few weeks on the island, an American ship passes near the island and rescues the castaways onto their ship. Manjiro becomes more and more curious of the American “barbarians”, and joins them in their work on the whaling vessel. Over the ten years that follow, Manjiro discovers and visits many place that he never knew existed, including America. As Manjiro adventures into new places he dreams about becoming a samurai, if he ever gets back to his hometown in Japan.

I liked reading this novel because it is a action filled nonfiction book. Personally, I enjoy reading books with a lot of action and an adventure. I also like to imagine what these characters felt like when they where actually in the situations that the novel described. Plus, I like to place myself in the character’s shoes and see what I would have felt. All in all, if you like action and adventure books that are sometimes nonfiction, then I guarantee that you will like the novel, “Heart of a Samurai”.