SAMURAI SHORTSTOP by Alan Gratz

SAMURAI SHORTSTOP

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Commodore Perry sailed into Yokohama harbor in 1853, and only a few years later, in 1870, baseball was introduced into Japan, along with many other Western influences. Out of this clash of cultures comes this story of 16-year-old Toyo, making his way in an elite boarding school, trying to get over the ritual suicide of his old samurai Uncle Koji, fearing his father may be next and eventually seeing baseball as a way to meld East and West, traditional samurai values and the game of “besuboru.” Debut novelist Gratz covers much ground in this baseball story that’s really about the transition of Japan from a feudal society to a westernized industrial power. The graphic opening chapter makes this for older readers, who will find it an unusual take on the American (and Japanese) pastime. (author’s notes, bibliography) (Fiction. 14+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8037-3075-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2006




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