Tsunetomo, Yamamoto. Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai. Manga ed. Adapted by Sean Michael Wilson. New York: Kodansha International, 2010.
Why I Picked This Up: I actually read about this edition in Previews October 2010 issue. And Sean Michael Wilson (@boychild23) actually tweeted me. I always appreciate that and it does make me want to read it. Now that we have more a more global curriculum in 8th grade history, I thought it would be great to add this to the collection. There is a new assignment where the kids write a short story as someone from a different time period and one of the topics deals with being a member of Japanese society. Being in 8th grade, this version of Hagakure is much more accessible to our students.
Why I Didn't Put It Down: You could read this fairly quickly but I think the tenets are definitely ones you would have to sit and reflect on. The illustrations definitely reflect other manga comics. And some of the illustrations might be considered intense or too violent. I think, our kids can handle that. Half of them spend their time playing Black Ops so this is actually very mild. Plus, you need those images to understand what the master is sharing with the student.
Who Would I Recommend This To: If you like Japanese manga, definitely pick it up. If you are interested in Japanese history and samurais, definitely pick it up. I actually asked one of my students to read it and he came back very excited about it. He gave a glowing recommendation and told me to read it too.
On the graphic novels/comic books front - we are getting a lot of students interested in reading the ones we are buying and I am so glad that I get to build this collection. I can't wait to purchase more. I still want to separate them out from the general collection but I keep hitting a wall but I will be persistent because at other school libraries I've visited, they are separated out.