One day an American whaling ship passes near the island and take the castaways aboard. Manjiro's curiosity overcomes his fear of the "barbarians". He joins in the work of the whaling vessel, eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Over the next ten years, Manjiro is adopted by the Captain of the ship, travels the high seas, visiting places he never dreamed existed, including America. It is a time filled with new experiences and adventure as well as friendship and treachery. Manjiro sustains himself on a dream of returning home and somehow--though he knows it is impossible for a simple fisherman--becoming a samurai.
Will he ever be able to go back to his native land? And if he does, will he be welcomed or condemned?
This Newbery Honor book written by Margi Preus, tells the story of the first Japanese boy to ever set foot in America, Manjiro Nakahama. Her careful research paints a poignant picture of this young man's experience and the effect he had when he returned to Japan and eventually helped to open the communication between America and the isolated nation of Japan. This book has photographs of Manjiro and drawings by Manjiro, whose American name was John Mung.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is found in the Teen Room! Check it out!