Born in the Year of Courage

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9780876146798: Born in the Year of Courage

In 1841, having been shipwrecked and picked up by an American whaling ship outside Japanese territorial waters, fifteen-year-old Manjiro decides to go live in America and work towards opening trade between his country and the West.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-- The hero of this historical novel is a Japanese fisherman who figured prominently in early U. S.-Japanese relations. Commencing with Manjiro's 13th year, when a disastrous fishing expedition left him stranded on an uninhabited island, readers follow the young man's life from his rescue by an American whaling ship, subsequent education in the U. S., pursuit of a seafaring career, adventures in the California Gold Rush, and triumphal (if at first precarious) return to his native land. An introduction skillfully details Japan's historical isolation, placing the novel in context, and an epilogue briefly describes Manjiro's role in Commodore Perry's negotiations. This is a great story, and Crofford brings out all its drama, realistically depicting the anxieties of the marooned fishermen, exciting storms at sea, grizzly whale hunting, and the character of Manjiro himself. His intelligence and curiosity, his ever-changing relationships with the Americans in his life, and, above all, his courage are all carefully and excitingly depicted. A vivid adjunct to social studies, and pleasure reading at its best, this is a riveting slice of history. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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