Storm-driven to the rocky shores of 1612 Japan, Jack sees his father and shipmates killed by ninja pirates. Rescued from the wreckage by a samurai’s men, the young blond teen is the first Englishman ever to visit Japan, bringing with him only his father’s secret sea navigation charts.
Jack is adopted into the family of samurai Masamoto who has mourned for 2 years since his elder son was assassinated by “Dragon Eye,” the same green-eyed ninja who killed Jack’s father. At age 12, Jack must quickly learn how to handle a wooden practice sword and chopsticks, how to speak Japanese and follow the many rules of this polite society, how to “fall seven times and rise up eight.” Akiko, daughter of a fallen samurai, helps Jack learn these many lessons as they prepare to enter the samurai academy in Kyoto.
Will the younger Masamoto son accept this “gaijin” foreigner as a foster brother or keep fighting against him? Will Jack succeed at the samurai academy as he seeks to learn the Way of the Warrior? When Dragon Eye threatens the capital city, can Jack and the other young samurai stop him? And will Jack ever get home to England again?
This exciting first book of a trilogy includes a glossary and pronunciation guide for the Japanese words essential to the story. Ikinasai! Let’s begin! 360 pages
Contributed by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA