Heart of a Samurai

Heart of a Samurai
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It's 1841, and fourteen-year0old Manjiro and his four friends find themselves stranded on a deserted island after a storm at sea. Beyond the island is the unknown, filled with monsters and demons and barbarians, or so they've been told. They know they cannot return to their home in Japan--the country's borders are closed to foreigners and also to citizens who have strayed.

One day, an American whaling vessel passes near the island and takes the castaways aboard. Manjiro joins in the work of the ship, eager to learn everything he can about this strange new culture. Over the next ten years, he travels the high seas, visiting places he never dreamed existed, including America. But deep down he longs to return home and somehow--though he knows it is impossible for a simple fisherman--become a samurai.

Will Manjiro ever be able to go back to his native land? And if he does, will he be welcomed or condemned?

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