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How to Be a Samurai Warrior Hardcover – June 1, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"High-interest topics brought to life through readable texts." —School Library Journal

About the Author

Fiona McDonald has wanted to make beautiful things for a living since she was a little girl. To further this dream, Fiona spent four years of intensive study at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, Australia. From there she moved to the Blue Mountains and began making painted cloth dolls and figurative sculpture. After Fiona's son was born, she enrolled at university to study literature. Fiona had two grown up children and a granddaughter. She lives with her three dogs, cat, rabbit, and one ancient hen.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0870 (What's this?)
  • Series: How to Be
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792236181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792236184
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Like the other volumes in this National Geographic "How to Be" series, "How to Be a Samurai Warrior" pretends that it is trying to recruit you to serve your local daimyo or even the shogun. Young readers imagine that they are living in Japan four hundred years ago and that they are considering a career as a samurai warrior. Fiona Macdonald explains that your main duties will include leaving your home to fight if your daimyo summons you, following "the way of the warrior," and studying ancient wisdom, writing poetry, and admiring art. Aided by John James' illustrations, Macdonald tries to tell young readers everything they need to know about their chosen career, warning them that at the end of the book there will be an interview to see if they qualify for service.

Four centuries ago in the Land of the Rising Sun the daimyo Tokugawa Ieyasu had defeated all of the other warring lords, become shogun, and built a new capital city of Edo (now known a Tokyo). The Shogun needs plenty of samurai to maintain his rule, but there are requirements. Macdonald explains you have to come form the right family (or show exceptional loyalty and fighting skill), and then covers what you will learn when you go to school (forget being left-handed). Each two-page spread addresses a key question: Can You Use Deadly Weapons? Can You Afford Armor? Do You Have the Right Attitude? Will You Be Loyal? Could Your Survive on Campaigns?

Part of the purpose of this book is to get young readers (who we presume will mostly be male) to be interested in a book about becoming a warrior, and then introduce them to key parts of Japanese society four centuries ago.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My kids, ages, 5, 8, and 11, love this book, very informative and even entertaining. They have seen severed heads in Star Wars movies, so no big deal about that one page other reviews seem so focused on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book about men who were trained to kill people and break things. It is both informative and easy to read, and if a child is going to read about soldiers or warriors, she or he should understand what happens in battle.
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By B. Fulgham on December 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was very excited about buying this book for my young niece and nephew for Xmas. However, when I received it, I was unhappy with two pages. On page 10, "It's very difficult to shoot arrows while galloping on horseback. Samurai practice by shooting dogs." And moreover, on p 28, "If you're killed in battle, an enemy samurai will cut off your head, tie it to his horse's saddle, and carry it back to his daimyo." And there is an illustration with a samurai, riding a horse, with two severed heads tied to his saddle. Because of these two sections, I did not feel comfortable giving the book as a gift. It is a shame that these two sections ruin an otherwise nice book.
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