Samurai in Seattle

>> Sunday, July 2, 2006

I awoke this morning to find a new Google alert in my inbox. Samurai Shortstop got a brief recommendation in the Seattle Times, and was in good company with books by Kate DiCamillo, Linda Sue Park, Cynthia Kadohata, and Mike Lupica. Also included was Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge, which I keep hearing good things about and will have to add to the acquisition list.

Here's the intro to the article:

Going for a hike in the Methow Valley? How about a night or two of camping in the Olympic National Park? Maybe you and your young ones are planning to catch a ferry to the San Juan Islands. Summer is often made of long drives, long waits and long hours in the sun. So it's a good idea to have a stack of books handy — something for everyone.

Tried and true children's classics are always satisfying. Books with staying power include: "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls, "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster, "Julie of the Wolves" by Jean Craighead George, "The Incredible Journey" by Sheila Burnford, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor, "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame, "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry and "Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh. And there are plenty of brand new offerings — check out the titles listed below.

And here then is the blurb about Samurai:

"Samurai Shortstop," by Alan Gratz (Dial, 280 pp., $17.99), describes a fascinating period in Japan's history: the 1890s. Toyo, the son of a samurai, finds himself wanting to understand both the way of the samurai and besuboro (baseball). Yet the samurai class has been abolished by the Emperor Meiji; Toyo is encouraged to forget it altogether. Still, he has made it into Ichiko, the First Higher School of Tokyo, and this elite environment continues to make him aware of his family's status. As he struggles with the antics of the upperclassmen (first-year students have to endure some pretty harsh unofficial rituals), his love for baseball motivates him to go after a spot on the school team. Meanwhile, his father has decided to teach him bushido (the samurai code), so that Toyo can assist with his seppuku, or ritual suicide.
Good stuff. Thanks to Kari Wergeland, author of the article, for including me in her summer picks!


Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for dropping by our blog. Feel free to agree or disagree with us, or just chime in with moral support. We leave most everything, but we of course reserve the right to delete anything that's needlessly nasty, profane, or spam. Now, if you'll just insert your two cents into the slot below...

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Read Alan's archived newsletters here.

Blog Archive

Swell Stuff

My Etsy Favorites

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP