Child exile.
Teenage runaway.
Military genius.
Immortal hero.

Yoshitsune had little going for him. Exiled to a monastery, he had no money, no allies, and no martial training. He wasn’t big or strong or good-looking. His only assets were brains, ambition, and a dream. But childhood dreams can change history.

At the age of fifteen, Yoshitsune escaped. Blow by painful blow, he learned the art of the sword. Fall after bruising fall, he mastered mounted archery. He joined his half brother Yoritomo in an uprising against the most powerful samurai in Japan.

This is the story of insane courage and daring feats, bitter rivalry and fatal love. Based on one of the great works of Japanese history and literature, Samurai Rising takes a clear-eyed, very modern look at the way of the samurai—and at the man who became the most famous samurai of all.
American Library Association Notable Book
Editor's Choice
Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth
Eureka! Gold Award, California Reading Association
Junior Library Guild Selection
Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Books
School Library Journal Battle of the Kid's Books Contender
School Library Journal Best of the Year
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist
Nerdy Book Award
Nonfiction Detectives Best of the Year
Booklist starred review
School Library Journal starred review
Bulletin of the Cooperative Center for Children's Books starred review
Kirkus starred review
Capitol Choices
NYC 365 Reads List
Texas Topaz Reading List
Booklist starred review:
"With more beheadings than you can shake a katana at, this account of the life of twelfth-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune is pure excitement.... Kids who thinks history is boring will lose their heads over this one."
School Library Journal starred review:
“Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the 12th-century Heian hero who defeated the rival Taira clan only to be undone by another member of the Minamoto group, is a samurai legend...The text rips along, skillfully engaging teens in many swift turns of events. VERDICT: Japanophiles, action lovers, and future historians will all find this book gripping."
Kirkus Reviews starred review:
“The life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction account. The opening warning doesn't lie: very few people die of natural causes... A well-researched narrative told with true grit."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred review:
“It's not often that ‘biography’ and ‘page-turner’ come together in one thought, but Turner's tale of the twelfth-century warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune is just the work to draw samurai fans from the manga and movie aisles into the nonfiction shelves.”
illustrated by Gareth Hinds
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2016
ISBN 978-1580895842
Discussion Guide
Book Trailer
Copyright 2008- Pamela S. Turner. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy.
All materials on this site may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes.