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The Sword That Cut the Burning Grass

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Overview

When fourteen-year-old samurai apprentice Seikei is sent on a mission by the shogun, he believes it to be a simple one: convince the fourteen-year-old emperor to resume his ceremonial duties. But then the emperor is kidnapped, and Seikei finds himself in the middle of an elaborate plot to overthrow the shogun. With the help of a mysterious warrior, he must rescue the emperor before the sacred sword—said to be unbeatable in battle—falls into the wrong hands. Seikei knows he must ...

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Overview

When fourteen-year-old samurai apprentice Seikei is sent on a mission by the shogun, he believes it to be a simple one: convince the fourteen-year-old emperor to resume his ceremonial duties. But then the emperor is kidnapped, and Seikei finds himself in the middle of an elaborate plot to overthrow the shogun. With the help of a mysterious warrior, he must rescue the emperor before the sacred sword—said to be unbeatable in battle—falls into the wrong hands. Seikei knows he must succeed, or bloodshed will stain the land.

In his latest adventure in eighteenth-century Japan, fourteen-year-old samurai apprentice Seikei, with the help of a servant girl and an imperious old man, sets out to rescue the young Emperor Yasuhito from his kidnappers.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
In this the fourth samurai mystery by these authors, Seikei, a fourteen-year-old samurai, is sent on an important mission by the shogun: Seikei must convince the young emperor to perform his ceremonial duties. Seikei learns that the boy emperor believes he is not the true emperor, but before Seikei can solve that problem, the emperor is kidnapped, rebellion breaks out against the shogun, and Seikei is being blamed for allowing both disasters to occur. Fortunately, a young woman and a mysterious warrior come to Seikei's aid. The three odd companions set out on a dangerous mission to rescue the emperor and stop the rebellion. Although this riveting book is labeled a mystery, it is also a fascinating historical fiction. Young people will love its fast pace and be drawn into the exotic world of sixteenth century Japan where adolescents take on adult responsibilities and significance. 2005, Penguin, 211 pp., Ages young adult.
—Virginia Beesley
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Another mystery in the series set in 18th-century Japan. Seikei, a 14-year-old samurai apprentice, is eager to prove himself to the shogun. When the 14-year-old emperor refuses to perform his duties, the shogun sends Seikei to talk some sense into him. Along the way, the boy hears of a plot to overthrow the shogun but dismisses it as implausible. When the emperor is later kidnapped, however, Seikei gives some validity to the plot. The authors have written other books featuring this protagonist and this installment may make readers feel as though they're walking into the middle of his story. It is sometimes difficult to keep the names straight and remember who is on which side. However, the action moves quickly and the mystery of the emperor's kidnapping is intriguing. Facets of Japanese history and legend are well integrated and Japanese words are contextually obvious. This book is best suited for fans of the series.-Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399242724
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 212
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.22 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler are historians and authors of over sixty books, both fiction and nonfiction, mostly for young readers. They are the authors of the well-loved American Family Album series, including The Japanese American Family Album, which was named a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book in 1997.

The Society for School Librarians International chose their book Showa: The Era of Hirohito for a best book award in 1991, and they have been cited for excellence by the Library of Congress, the Parents' Choice Foundation, Bank Street College, the International Reading Association, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the New York Public Library. The Hooblers make their home in New York City. They have one daughter and are active in community affairs.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler are historians and authors of over sixty books, both fiction and nonfiction, mostly for young readers. They are the authors of the well-loved American Family Album series, including The Japanese American Family Album, which was named a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book in 1997.

The Society for School Librarians International chose their book Showa: The Era of Hirohito for a best book award in 1991, and they have been cited for excellence by the Library of Congress, the Parents' Choice Foundation, Bank Street College, the International Reading Association, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the New York Public Library. The Hooblers make their home in New York City. They have one daughter and are active in community affairs.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An exciting new adventure for Seikei, the young samurai assistant to the Sherlock Holmes of Japan

    Synopsis:
    During the period of Yoshimune, the 8th shogun of the Tokugawa family, Judge Ooka was well respected for his wise and honest decisions and regarded as the Sherlock Holmes of Japan.

    Seikei was born to a merchant family, but had won the Judge's respect when he voluntarily assisted him solve a case and prevent serious injustice. Judge Ooka adopted Seikei and is fulfilling Seikei's dream to become a samurai.
    Now fourteen year old samurai apprentice Seikei is called upon to assist his adoptive father, Judge Ooaki, serve the Shogun. The emperor of Japan is a young boy and has refused to perform his duties. The Shogun sends Seikei to Kyoto convince the emperor to leave the temple and to resume his duties. The Shogun explains that the emperor must make a public appearance at the time of the spring solstice, plow a furrow of land and sow rice seeds to maintain the peace. If the emperor fails to perform this duty, the farmers will fear for the harvest and will be unable to deliver the proper quotas to their daimyo lords, and this will result in widespread unrest. Seikei must convince the emperor to resume his duties.
    Seikei meets with the emperor, but soon after he leaves the temple, sudden violence erupts. The emperor is suddenly missing and Seikei is arrested.

    To save himself and to serve his country, young Seikei must track down the emperor's whereabouts and prevent a daimyo's grab for control with the help a mysterious samurai and a young serving girl. Meanwhile, Judge Ooaki is unaware of the dangers that track his young charge.

    Review:
    I enjoy historical fiction and detective novels. Japan during the 1700s, the time of the powerful Shoguns, holds particular fascination for me. Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler's series are made even more enjoyable by their choice of lead characters. Judge Ooka is a historical figure with a reputation for wise and honest decisions and has been described as the Sherlock Holmes of Japan. He served the 8th shogun of the Tokugawa family. In his official capacity, Judge Ooka is assigned to solve crimes and to help the Shogun maintain the peace. Judge Ooka is assisted by his adoptive son, the young Seikei.

    The point of view of Judge Ooka's adoptive son, Seikei works particularly well. Born as a merchant's son, Seikei wants to become worthy of his new samurai status. Seikei has a strong sense of honor and considerable courage but is still developing his samurai skills. When asked which do he values more, life or honor? "Honor," replies Seikei dutifully, "because everyone must die, but honor lasts forever."

    Since a fourteen year old boy can blend in and observe a great deal, Seikei undertakes critical missions much more than an easily recognized official of the Shogun. Stout of heart and determined, Seikei serves his father, the Shogun and the Emperor well. This particular installment is one of the more captivating of the series because of the friendships and adventures that Seikei makes along the way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2006

    it's great

    a wonderful spellbinding book, it seems as if you are in japan yourself and don't have to get the horrible jetlag if you go there. it's interesting and gets you in the mood for japanese food.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted March 8, 2012

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    Posted October 3, 2011

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    Posted April 22, 2011

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