Laura's Reviews > Samurai Shortstop

Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz
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's review
Mar 01, 11

bookshelves: young-adult, historical-fiction
Read in September, 2010

This is another book I chose by its cover. Our school had just received a shipment of new books and teachers were allowed to pick through the collections to add to their libraries. I liked the cover and I've been intrigued by Japanese historical fiction since reading "Memoirs of a Geisha" so I took the book home to read over the weekend.

I finished it in one evening. I couldn't put it down.

It's gory. It's detailed. I wish it weren't based on true stories but it is and, let me tell you, life in Japanese high school in the early 20th and late 19th centuries was tough! The blood, gore, and hazing students were expected to endure was appalling.

If I could just get some kids to read it, they'd be just as enthralled but I haven't had any success yet.

I could recommend this to any student interested in Japanese or Asian culture. I would also recommend it to students who like reading about school life; it would be great to contrast this historical account to the accounts of high school life nowadays.
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