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CompleteMartialArts.com - Samurai Shortstop

List Price: $7.99
Our Price: $7.99
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Manufacturer: Puffin
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
EAN: 9780142410998
ISBN: 0142410993
Label: Puffin
Manufacturer: Puffin
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 288
Publication Date: 2008-02-14
Publisher: Puffin
Reading Level: Young Adult
Studio: Puffin

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Editorial Reviews:

Tokyo, 1890. Toyo is caught up in the competitive world of boarding school, and must prove himself to make the team in a new sport called besuboru. But he grieves for his uncle, a samurai who sacrificed himself for his beliefs, at a time when most of Japan is eager to shed ancient traditions. It�s only when his father decides to teach him the way of the samurai that Toyo grows to better understand his uncle and father. And to his surprise, the warrior training guides him to excel at baseball, a sport his father despises as yet another modern Western menace. Toyo searches desperately for a way to prove there is a place for his family�s samurai values in modern Japan. Baseball might just be the answer, but will his father ever accept a �Western� game that stands for everything he despises?

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Samurai Shortstop
Comment: Let me start off by saying this is the best book I have read. It is a very exciting book that keeps your attention throughout. It starts off by the Emperer allowing Toyo's Uncle to commit seppuku (suicide) instead of being killed by the government. Samurai Shortstop has a great mix of baseball and culture. You get to read a baseball story but at the sametime learn about their culture and beliefs. Toyo attends Ichiko which is a very big school that consists of only boys.

Ichiko's baseball team is run by the players themselves and when Toyo and a couple other first years want to join the team the have to prove that they are worthy. Toyo's friend Futoshi makes the team as the right fielder but Toyo has a little trouble making the team because Ichiko already has a shortstop. But when their shortstop gets thrown off the team Toyo found himself starting at shortstop. Toyo's father teaches trys to teach him bushido which is code by which Samurai lived but Toyo has trouble understanding it. Not until the end of the book when he has to help with his father's seppuku does he fully understand bushido. This is a wonderful book because it keeps you off balance and never knowing what is going to happen!

Kyle Walmer
Mrs. Bains 3rd block

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Suspenseful and memorable
Comment: It's 1890 and you're in Tokyo, Japan. Between classes in the most prestigious high school in town and baseball practice, you learn the old ways--the ways of the samurai. That's Toyo Shimada's life and we get the pleasure of going along for the ride thanks to Alan Gratz's brilliant story telling.

Toyo suffers from familiar teen angst: a parent who doesn't understand him and friends who try to understand him, but often fail. It's the core of most teen stories, but Toyo's world is changing. Old Japan is dying and a new Japan is rising.

His father represents the old Japan. When the emperor reforms their ancient military system and requires all samurai to hang up their swords, Toyo's family is caught in the middle. The opening scene, where Toyo and his father assist Toyo's uncle in seppuku, ritual suicide, is so intense that you'll wonder if Toyo's just having a bad dream.

Even though Toyo's father isn't samurai in the traditional sense, he too decides he can't live in the new Japan. He expects Toyo to assist him in seppuku, when the time comes. First, he must teach Toyo the ways of bushido, the warrior's code.

Between lessons and baseball practice, Toyo learns to meditate and use a sword--and worries about his father. When the time comes, will he have the courage to do what has to be done? Baseball is his passion, and as applies bushido to baseball, he comes to terms with the changing world around him and begins his journey into manhood.

Samurai Shortstop is the story of Toyo's search for his own path in a time of social change and family turmoil. Toyo's personal struggle is one all teens can appreciate. He struggles with peer pressure, studies, and parental control and expectations. Nineteenth century Japan comes alive and provides the color and unexpected tension that every good story needs.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Underappreciated Jewel
Comment: Samurai Shortstop is a wonderful, but underappreciated tale about a boy and his love for baseball. Toyo, a 14 year-old boy is faced to grow up faster than he ever wanted to when his uncle committed seppuku, legal suicide in Japan. Everything has changed since the French Revolution, and now there are no more samurais, but now there is baseball, Toyo's favorite sport.
He has just now started the most prestigious school in Tokyo, which means new friends, bullies, and many more problems. He tries out for baseball and starts learning the way of samurai from his father. Toyo and his father never really understood each other, and now that his uncle has died, Toyo only has his friends to help him.

Toyo is a very smart person, and becomes a very good leader. Throughout the book everything that happens helps him, although it doesn't look like it all the time. Toyo starts to put his skill in the art of bushido, samurai fighting style, into baseball. My favorite part of the book is when he fights the older kid instead of letting them beat him up. I would recommend this book to students from 7th grade and up.
--Malik McKenzie

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Congrats, Alan Gratz!
Comment: This is a story of a boy named Toyo Shimada. The time is set in Tokyo, 1890. Toyo is sent to a boarding school of a very high caliber, but after he arrives he sees how the upperclassmen treat the first years. To fit in, he joins the baseball team, a sport he loves. He wants to be shortstop, but until he becomes a "man" to the upperclassmen he is stuck in the outfield. He is enraged, but nevertheless he pushes through the tormenting and refuses to quit the baseball team. The only problem is his father, who is still using the ways of the samurai, or worrier. Toyo's father does not want him to play, unless Toyo can convince him otherwise. Other than that, his father has decided to teach him the ways of the warrior, or bushido. At first Toyo does not understand any of his bushido lessons, or why he has to do them, but over the course of the book he learns to use his bushido skills.
This book reminds me of a book called Dairy Queen. The story was about a girl, and football, not baseball, but in the end she overcomes many obstacles just like Toyo. In both books, the main focus is overcoming anything that comes your way. They are both also about standing up to important figures in there lives. It happens to be that in both books that person is their dad. Alan Gratz has written an enthralling tale.
I enjoyed the book, although it does have some pretty gruesome scenes. I liked reading it because you always want to see what Toyo will do next, what the other characters are going to say, or do. It also tells you a lot about what school was like back then, in Japan. It is a lot different from Americans school, and the year it takes place in really makes a difference. Overall, this is a great book and you should pick it up sometimes if you are looking for a great read.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Burning Besuboru!!
Comment: Samurai Shortstop is about a 16-year old Japanese boy, Toyo. Right from the first sentence of the book it really grabs your attention. Toyo's uncle is preparing to commit sepukku. This is considered an honorable way to kill yourself in Japan. The story draws you into the life of Toyo and helps you to understand his relationship with his father and learning the art of bushido. He goes off to a private boarding school where he learns how to stand up for himself and fight off the seniors who are out to torture the first years. I liked this book because it combines the sport of baseball along with Toyo's high school experience in Japan. If you want to read a book that is hard to put down and will keep you intrigued until the very last page, then this is the book for you.

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