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Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun Paperback – January 21, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (January 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060086254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060086251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up Blumberg's book succeeds on two levels. First it is a well-written story of Matthew Perry's expedition to open Japan to American trade and whaling ports. The account is sensitive to the extreme cultural differences that both the Japanese and Americans had to overcome. Especially good are the chapters and paragraphs explaining Japanese feudal society and culture. The text is marvelously complemented by the illustrations, almost all reproductions of contemporary Japanese art, underscoring the unbiased approach of the book. On the second level, the book is a well-researched chronicle of the events of the trip. Blumberg has gone to the original sources to capture the sights, emotions, reactions and even tastes of both the Japanese and Americans. Yet she has not neglected the political and economic importance or mission of Perry's trip. The notes, appendixes and bibliography show a carefully thought out book which holds valuable information for sophisticated readers. There is no better book for students on this historical event. John Buschman, Solanco Senior High School Library, Quarryville, Pa.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rhoda Blumberg has written about the opening of Japan (1853-1854) in Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, a Newbery Honor Book, which also won the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the Golden Kite Award. Her acclaimed histories also include The Incredible Journey of Lewis & Clark, The Great American Gold Rush, and The Remarkable Voyages of Captain Cook, all ALA Notable Books. She is the winner of the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for her overall contribution to nonfiction.

Rhoda Blumberg says that while doing research for Commodore Perry, "I read about the ordeals and strange adventures of Manjiro, then spent years replaying his life story in my mind until I felt impelled to write about him."

The author and her husband, Gerald, live in Yorktown Heights, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
73%
4 star
18%
3 star
9%
2 star
0%
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See all 11 customer reviews
We lived in Japan and I homeschooled when I first read this book.
Denise (colomacs@rmi.net)
It is a very good, well balanced story that leaves it to the reader to make their own conclusions.
JN Turner
I bought this book to read for myself and also to read with my 3rd grade son.
fantasymom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Denise (colomacs@rmi.net) on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
We lived in Japan and I homeschooled when I first read this book. Much more interesting way to learn about the opening of Japan than through a text. Another excellent book that is a great companion to this one is "Born in the Year of Courage."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Renée B. on September 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Beginning as the "giant dragons puffing smoke" descended upon the fishing village of Shimoda, this book chronologically follows Commodore Matthew Perry's expedition and subsequent opening of Japan for trade with the United States. This volume, which appears to have been extremely well-researched, fits the actions and reaction of both the Japanese and the westerners into an unbiased and even context. Japanese feudal society is explained, as well as Japan's historically isolationist position, and it is pointedly explained just how much misinformation about one another each side believed. One point that will stand out to most readers is the irony of how each side looked upon the other - as barbarians in need of civilizing; and just how much politics and personality impacts the face of world relations.

Artwork is less abundant than in similar texts, but with licensing fees and the rising cost of publishing, this is understandable. A number of Japanese images of Commodore Perry are included, each less flattering than the one before it. The appendices are particularly interesting: a letter from President Millard Fillmore (you just don't see enough about old Millard) to the Emperor of Japan, and a translation of the Emperor's reply; an intriguing list of American Presents for the Japanese (nearly everyone in the Emperor's family or commission received, among other things, at least 5 gallons of whiskey and a revolver), and a similar list of presents from the Japanese for Americans; and the text of the Treaty of Kanagawa.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JN Turner on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We purchased this book because it was required reading for my rising 6th grader. He is a very good reader and could read this book. However, it is non-fiction. He loves fiction and wasn't really motivated to read this. We read this together- taking turns reading pages. We quickly got into the story. Unlike some non-fiction, this book is a story. We both learned so many things about Commodore Perry and his expedition to the Land of the Shogun, Japan. We both thoroughly enjoyed the story. It has many pictures which added greatly to the story. The pictures are drawings by the parties involved in this expedition- the Japanese and the Americans. The drawings are a fascinating part of the story as you get to see how people are viewed by the different cultures. The story also is told from the different perspectives- from the Japanese and the American perspectives. Thus, we can understand why the Japanese were not interested in trading with foreigners. Certainly this topic is relevant to some of our problems today. Our fear of foreigners is certainly causing controversy in modern times in the US. Maybe we can learn a lesson? This book is not political though and does not give a "message". It is a very good, well balanced story that leaves it to the reader to make their own conclusions. Either way, it's an excellent book. I highly recommend it for ages 9-14. You may want to read it with your child unless they love non-fiction -especially for younger ones. My child read it with me at age 11 so any 9 year old readers would need to be gifted readers or very interested in this topic (historical non-fiction) in my judgement.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written for upper elementary or middle school students, but appeals to a much broader range. I bought this book to read for myself and also to read with my 3rd grade son. The book is interesting and has a good pace. Interesting pictures are included that help catch the attention of younger readers. I think this book is a good choice for teaching children history.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Its a very good book!!!It has alot of detail on the Japanes life in the very old days of the world.Its the best you can get!!!!
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By Rick Bentz on April 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I considered this selection because it was recxommended by Amazon. It gave me back ground info on my favorite book, Shogun and it told the story of Commodore Perry very well with great pictures, comics and insight from Japan, at that time.
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