Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

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Overview

"[T]his novel is akin to a teen Da Vinci Code with ninjas; the high-stakes plot is woven with layers of mythology, intrigue, and romance."?School Library Journal

Winner of the 2013-2014 Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature
2015 Sakura Medal Nominee
Shortlisted for the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

Seventeen-year-old Jet Black is a ninja. There's only one ...

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Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

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Overview

"[T]his novel is akin to a teen Da Vinci Code with ninjas; the high-stakes plot is woven with layers of mythology, intrigue, and romance."—School Library Journal

Winner of the 2013-2014 Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature
2015 Sakura Medal Nominee
Shortlisted for the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

Seventeen-year-old Jet Black is a ninja. There's only one problem—she doesn't know it. Others do, however, and they're scheming to capture her and uncover her secrets. When her mother dies, Jet knows only that she must go to Japan to protect a family treasure hidden in her ancestral land. She's terrified, but if Jet won't fight to protect her world, who will? Stalked by bounty hunters and desperately in love with the man who's been sent to kill her, Jet must be strong enough to protect the treasure, preserve an ancient culture, and save a sacred mountain from destruction. In Jet Black and the Ninja Wind, multiple award-winning author, poet, and translator team Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani make their first foray into young adult fiction with a compulsively readable tale whose teenage heroine must discover if she can put the blade above the heart—or die trying.

"Jet Black and the Ninja Wind is one of the best novels where the action is based in Japan I've ever read. It is a Young Adult novel about the last living female ninja and her quest to save her tribe and her own life."—Kirainet.com

"[B]y the time I finished the first chapter, I was sold: Jet is the first female ninja I've encountered that felt relatable, as though if I stood in her shoes, I'd react just the same way: with some reluctance and fear, slowly growing into strength and determination."—GirlsInCapes.com

"Jet Black and the Ninja Wind is a fun, cool book to read—it is based on a great idea and it delivers breathtaking situations and fight scenes that are expected when reading a ninja novel."—PaperDroids.com

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  • Jet Black and the Ninja Wind
    Jet Black and the Ninja Wind  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/26/2013
In this meticulously researched adventure, the husband-and-wife team of Oketani and Lowitz evoke the atmosphere and richness of Japanese culture and mythology, delving into the lore of the ninja. When 17-year-old Jet Black’s mother dies, Jet travels to the ancestral home she’s never known to meet unfamiliar kin and uncover her own mysterious heritage. She soon learns that a powerful organization is after her, certain that she holds the key to a long-hidden treasure of immense value. As Jet embraces her mystic skills as a rare female ninja, she tries to uncover the secret her family has held safe for centuries, while unraveling her complicated feelings toward Takumi, the young man in charge of hunting her down. The physical descriptions are lush, the action sequences almost cinematic, and the details are steeped in authenticity. However, there’s a certain academic stiffness to the writing that, when combined with certain pacing problems (the amount of detail the authors attempt to include can impede the story’s momentum), detracts from the overall sense of wonder. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"How wonderful to find such a story of inspiration as Jet Black and the Ninja Wind, revealing how heroism can be born even from roots in confusion and self-doubt. Enjoy the read and then let Jet Black's story inspire you to ride your wind as she did hers. Find your gift. Live your promise."—Stephen K. Hayes, Black Belt Hall of Fame, author of The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art and The Ninja Defense

"In this meticulously researched adventure, the husband-and-wife team of Oketani and Lowitz evoke the atmosphere and richness of Japanese culture and mythology, delving into the lore of the ninja. The physical descriptions are lush, the action sequences almost cinematic, and the details are steeped in authenticity."—Publishers Weekly

"Action, adventure, and artistry join forces in this enthralling story of a teen girl descended from ninjas. Jet Black's quest to find a hidden treasure, and to save her ancestors' history and homeland, takes her on a heart-pounding journey from New Mexico to Japan. Along the way she uncovers layers of history and family secrets, and discovers how to use ninjutsu to survive. Readers will cheer for this refreshingly original action heroine as she travels across cultures and into her heart to find hidden treasures of her own: power, courage, and family."—Diana Renn, author of Tokyo Heist

"This fast-paced whirlwind story of the teenage Jet, inheritor of ninja skills through her Japanese mother, spins the reader through history, legend, Buddhism and modern Japan. With vivid description, Lowitz and Oketani have created a visual experience akin to watching an epic thriller film. Five stars!"—Liza Dalby, author of Geisha, Hidden Buddhas and The Tale of Murasaki

"Looking for a high octane international adventure? You've found it. The Lowitz-Oketani writing team has birthed a spin-kicking hapa heroine who can read the minds of animals, make herself invisible, and sword-fight with the best of them. Also, she's a ninja—the only one who can save her people. What are you waiting for? Dive in!"—Suzanne Kamata, author of Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible

"Jet Black and the Ninja Wind really drew me in! It's a page-turner rich in striking ideas, unexpected action and fascinating cultural and language secrets! This pacey, intelligent yarn brings together feisty young modern characters, epic derring-do and an ancient mystery. Jet Black brush-strokes for us a wide, credible world with an engaging, accessible voice that also packs sword-cut precision. Few debut novels exude such powerful and unique magic and romance! Let the wind blow!—Simon Higgins, author of Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja and the Tomodachi series

"Jet Black and the Ninja Wind melds intrigue, magic and vivid characters with gorgeous description and plenty of heart-stopping action. Masterfully written, this debut from Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani will leave readers pleasantly haunted and hungry for more."—Linda Gerber, author of Now and Zen and The Death by Bikini Mysteries

"Adventure, fantasy, ancient wisdom, and imminent danger—Jet Black meets them all head on. Like the Hunger Game's Katniss Everdeen, she is a fighter with heart. A new teen hero has arrived."—Barry Lancet, author of Japantown

School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—At her mother's insistence, Rika Kuroi, nicknamed Jet Black, has spent her young life training in the art of combat and ninja techniques-with no idea why. Her mother dies before explaining, and when Jet travels to her family's village in Japan to lay her mother's ashes to rest, she is plunged into a complicated web of ancient mysteries and family secrets. She learns that the women of her family guard a treasure passed down through generations and sought by ruthless enemies. Action-driven and rich in history, this novel is akin to a teen Da Vinci Code with ninjas; the high-stakes plot is woven with layers of mythology, intrigue, and romance. Jet's adventures take readers through a variety of lushly described settings, from the deserts of New Mexico to the verdant mountains of northern Japan and the crowded streets of Tokyo. In its quieter moments, between breathless combat and narrow escapes, the narrative carries a strong message about the rights of indigenous peoples to protect their cultures and beliefs, drawing parallels between Native Americans and the Emishi, one of Japan's Native groups, and explores the sacred feminine as Jet awakens to her role as female ninja. Though the cinematic plot will hook readers, the third-person omniscient point of view is somewhat distancing, and a lackluster forbidden romance subplot could easily have been omitted. Jet's journey of self-discovery stands strong without a love interest. Give this book to anime fans or anyone seeking an engaging and thought-provoking read.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784805312841
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Edition description: Hardcover with Jacket
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 252,619
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning multi-genre writer Leza Lowitz has published more than seventeen books, including the Amazon best-selling title, Yoga Poems. Her numerous awards include the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, grants from the NEA and NEH, and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Shambhala Sun, Harpers, Best Buddhist Writing,the New York Times online, and on NPR's "The Sound of Writing."

Shogo Oketani is a martial artist, editor, translator and author of the critically acclaimed middle grade novel J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo 1965. Together with Lowitz, he was honored with the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature from Columbia University. Lowitz and Oketani live in Japan with their young son.

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Customer Reviews

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( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2014

    "Not fear, but gratitude. It felt good to re-name fear, to

    "Not fear, but gratitude. It felt good to re-name fear, to take away its power." Best line! 




    As one who lived in Japan, I knew much of the history in the book, but I don't think most Westerners would since the authors touch on obscure Japanese history. The author also brings the setting to life with details. I liked best the information on ninjas. There is also a primer of Japanese terms. JET BLACK AND THE NINJA WIND is an ambitious work, much as MOBY DICK is both a novel and an anthology on whaling.




    In terms of the ninja action scenes, Lowitz and Oketani's best writing was describing how Jet's body and mind melded as one with nature to perform ninja actions.      




    I can see why JET BLACK won the APALA award for 2014.




    I bought a copy of this book from B&N.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    I love it!!! I thought it was very well written and it never see

    I love it!!! I thought it was very well written and it never seemed to slow down. I can't wait to read more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Plz help

    I would like to know what this book is about an if it is a good read
    -plz help

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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