Samurai Rising: the Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

Samurai RisingSamurai Rising: the Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

by Pamela S. Turner; illustrated by Gareth Hinds

256 pages; ages 12 & up

Charlesbridge, 2016

Minamoto Yoshitsune had little going for him. As a fatherless child he was exiled to a monastery, had no money, had few friends and no allies, and had no martial arts training. But he was smart and determined, and he had a dream.

At the age of fifteen, Yoshitsune escaped from exile, joined his half-brother, and led an uprising against the most powerful samurai in Japan.

Pamela Turner spins a tale of courage, battles, cunning, and improvisation in a story that sounds like the adventures of King Arthur or Harry Potter. Except this story is true, and accompanied by maps of battles that really took place. It is also a story about shifting loyalties, political allegiance, love, and family. There are warrior monks, archers, and much clashing of swords. There is victory and defeat.

Not only is it page-turning nonfiction, it is a perfect book to read this political season. If I gave out stars, this would get a galaxy’s worth.

Head over to Sally’s Bookshelf for an interview with the author. And head over to Pam’s website to learn more about Yoshitsune’s World at Pam’s website. Click on “Enter Yoshitsune’s World” and you’ll find videos, photos, and more.

Nonfiction Monday

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