Heart of a Samurai: NPR's Back-Seat Book Club Pick for May

In 1841, fourteen-year-old Nakahama Manjirō is fishing with friends when their boat is shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Japan. They are rescued by an American whaling ship and after requesting to stay aboard the ship, Nakahama becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. This incredible true story is the basis for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club selection for May.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is the story of a boy who is a simple fisherman but dreams of becoming a samurai. He never lets go of his dreams, despite living in a society where there is no chance for changing your station in life. After his rescue from the island, he is given a great opportunity: travel to California and begin a new life.

This inspiring adventure will take you to another time and place, and will lead to discussions of impossible dreams and how to achieve them. You might also be tempted to play the old "If you were stranded on an island and could only have one book with you, what would it be?" game with the young people in your life.

To participate, read or listen to the book then send your questions to NPR. Learn more on the NPR website and stay tuned for Margi Preus answering questions on All Things Considered at the end of May!

Written by angela on April 26, 2012

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