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Real Ninja: Over 20 True Stories of Japan's Secret Assassins Hardcover – September 1, 2008

2.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—The history of the ninja is a source of fascination for readers, typically due to the way they have been portrayed in popular culture, but also because they have long been shrouded in mystery. Even in historical documentation, it is difficult to tell fact from fiction. Turnbull presents all of his depictions as fact, even while many of the details are vague (particularly in the case of two assassinations, which may have instead been natural deaths or suicides). Short tales of ninja daring are accompanied by attractive illustrations that do not always match the text. For example, one story describes undercover operatives who spied on an enemy camp by disguising themselves, but the picture depicts them in typical gear. Turnbull's definition of ninja is stretched in many cases, as some of his tales are about samurai who use cunning techniques or thieves who may have started some of the legends. The stories initially appear to be ordered chronologically, but this is not true throughout. Overall, this is an excellent collection of ninja tales, but less useful as a factual resource due to the lack of documentation.—Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Coral Tulloch is an author and illustrator who has created over 50 books for children. She also is the creator of a syndicated page for children that ran for over 20 years in Australian newspapers and internationally as well. Passionate about environmental education, Tulloch is especially committed to doing books on the natural world. James Field was born in England in 1959. After attending college in Wales, he began his professional career in 1982 making models for museums and Welsh TV. An interest in the Samurai led to his first major book, Samurai Warriors, written by Stephen Turnbull.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592700810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592700813
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By matt on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am not sure why Amazon has the wrong author listed for this book, but it is another great Turnbull book and a fantastic find for ninja enthusiast young and old. It is a children's book, so do not expect the level of scholarship found in Turnbull's other works. That said, it is an interesting collection of almost 30 very short (1 page) stories that do include a great deal of historical information. Each story is accompanied by the historically accurate and vivid illustrations by James Field, who happens to illustrate many of Turnbull's books. The large size of the book makes it great for reading in pairs or just to look at while daydreaming.

There is moderate violence in the stories and images, so parents should consider this when buying.

You may also find Real Samuraito be lots of fun, also by Turnbull.

If you happen to be looking for more scholarly works on ninja and samurai, check out Stephen Turnbull's Warriors of Medieval Japan (General Military). Stephen Hayes' The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art.

An EXCELLENT series of historical Japanese fiction books for youth (and adults!) is by Thomas and Dorothy Hoobler. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (The Samurai Mysteries), In Darkness, Death (The Samurai Mysteries) and others in this series will entertain for hours.

Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
This logical step-by-step progression through Japanese history from the 900's AD to the 1600's is bursting with battle lore and worthy military figures. The author hints at how the actions of the past may have molded current Japanese society. Focus is given to the difference between ninja and regular samurai. Ninja are portrayed as intelligent, clever, and ruthless. Though marked as a children's book, the Japanese names and rich vocabulary may be difficult for readers earlier than the seventh or eighth grade.

See also:

Real Samurai
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was misleading, more of a children's book. I though it would have information I didn't already know, but it was mostly wrong with some guesses about historic events and even some incorrect. I can't believe Stephen Turnbull approved this.
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Format: Hardcover
My expectations were high, because I read a lot of books of the writter. A respected academic researcher. BUT, this book is a childeren's book. There is no mentioning of this detail. So, if you are serious interested in Ninjas, Ninjutsu etc. DON'T BUT THIS BOOK. I blame Amazon for not mentioning this in the productinformation.
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