Review Blog

Feb 23 2009

Owl Ninja: Samurai Kids by Sandy Fussell

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Ill. by Rhian Nest James. Walker Books, 2008. ISBN 9781921150371
(Age Middle Primary) Recommended. This is the second in the series with books three and four to follow.An adventure set in Japan with an unusual makeup of six children (five boys and one girl each one with a disability) forming the 'Samurai Kids'. The group, affectionately called 'Little Cockroaches' by their famous samurai teacher, Ki-Yaga, follow a treacherous path to convince the Emperor to silence the drums calling the mountain people to pledge allegiance either to the Lord of the North or the Lord of the South.
Narrated by Niya, the one legged boy whose spirit is the white crane, the story unfolds with a strong sense of Japanese tradition and sayings. The group's loyalty to their teacher and each other as they parry with their swords engages the reader. Humour enriches the incidents and the enjoyment in overcoming the Dragon Master and his students is another in the realm of good verus evil. The illustrations add an interesting layer to the text.
Ideal for encouraging students to read more widely.
Sue Nosworthy

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