August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan - his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins. But life at the samurai school is a constant fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bullies and treated as an outcast. With courage in his heart and his sword held high, can Jack prove himself and face his deadliest rival yet?
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(198mm x 129mm x 21mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
In 1611, 12-year-old British sailor Jack Fletcher's ship is attacked by ninjas, and the entire crew, including Jack's father, the ship's pilot, are killed. Jack is saved by the samurai Masamoto Takeshi, who adopts him because they have a common enemy: The same ninja who killed Jack's father killed Masamoto's eldest son. Jack becomes a student at Masamoto's school. He makes a few friends and does well in training, but he has to endure cruel teasing, only finally winning respect by prevailing in a school competition and repelling another attack by the evil ninja Dragon Eye. Bradford's first, the start of a projected series, is a mixed bag at best. The few exciting scenes are outnumbered by lengthy lessons, and modern phrases destroy the historical ambiance. The artificial tension created by cliffhanger chapter endings is regularly undercut by a leap ahead in time at the beginning of the next chapter. Spend your samurai dollars on the vastly superior Seikei and Judge Ooka series by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. Despite the website hype, this is a commonplace James Clavell knockoff for kids. (Historical fiction. 9-13) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Chris Bradford
Chris Bradford has earned his black belt in Tai-jutsu, the secret fighting art of the ninja. He has also trained in judo, karate, kickboxing and samurai swordmanship. Before writing Young Samurai, Chris was a professional musician and songwriter. He lives in the South Downs with his wife and two cats called Tigger and Rhubarb.