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Born in the Year of Courage Paperback – January 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575054248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575054247
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By 40winkzzz on November 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read historical fiction to my husband & pre-teen kids nearly every evening, and this book is one of our recent favorites. Based on the life of a real person, Born in the Year of Courage chronicles the adventures of a young Japanese man who is marooned on an island and later rescued by an American ship. As exciting as that is, what happens after his rescue is every bit as intriguing. Yes, we gained some valuable insight into the mindset of early-19th-century Isolationist Japan, but what kept us coming back night after night was the story. Manjiro's gripping narrative of survival and self-discovery had not only my kids, but my husband as well, repeatedly begging for "just one more chapter" before bed. It was, as they say, a "very good read".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca J. Rivera on September 20, 2010
Format: Library Binding
This book is in additional reading in my son's history (Story of the World book 4.) As part of his langauge arts (we homeschool) I am having him read at least one additional book with each history chapter. He chose this book this week and is really enjoying it. He read 7 chapters today and didn't want to put this book down.

I read it before he did and was impressed with the strength of the main character (not physical strength, but character.)

My son is 12 years old and in 7th grade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
Based on the life of a real person, Born in the Year of Courage is the story of a poor, fifteen-year-old fisherman named Manjiro who, in 1841, was marooned on an island with his crewmates and later rescued by an American whaling ship. Since the American ship was not allowed to enter Japanese territorial waters, Manjiro and the others knew the only thing they could do was stay aboard the whaler.

When the whaler leaves Hawaii, the other fishermen choose to stay in that tropical paradise, but Manjiro follows Captain Whitfield. Manjiro is raised by the Whitfields as a son. He learns English, attends school, and signs on as second mate and navigator on board another American ship. Extremely hard-working and loyal, Manjiro remains true to both his Japanese and his American families, and as an adult works tirelessly to open Japan to contact with the rest of the world.

This book, geared towards pre-teens, is just as interesting to read for adults. Crofford shares much information into the lives of the Japanese in the first half of the nineteenth century as well as what life aboard a whaling ship was like. The chapters concerning the shipwreck and being marooned on a rather barren island are gripping.

Manjiro, a simple man whose culture didn't allow him to have a surname, is a truly inspiring person who believed that oceans link countries, not separate them, and he spent his life working for what he believed in. I am a long way from being a pre-teen, but I was very impressed with the power and insight of this book.
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