Children's Lit Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Perfect Sword

By: Scott Goto
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 48
Reading Level: 9-12
Genre: Picture Book/Fairy tale
Award: N/A

"The Perfect Sword is a moral tale about the virtues that make a person worthy of something perfect. "
- School Library Journal

Summary: Sensei Masa, who is a master of swordsmanship, and his young apprentice, Michio, work long and diligently to create a magnificent sword or soul. When the new sword is finished, they inspect it for flaws, Michio finds none and exclaims, "Magnificent." However, Sensei replies, "No...nothing is truly perfect. Something can always be improved. Remember to try your very best in everything you do and continue to grow and learn." No, it's up to them to find a warrior worthy of this near perfect sword. A series of seemingly worthy men come to buy it, and Michio is sure that each of them would have been the new owner of the sword saying, "Someone like this must be a great warrior and worthy of our sword." But Sensei finds them each too cruel, too privileged, or too selfish. While in the market one day, they see a brave young samurai disarm a thief without using his sword. They invite him, Takeshi, to their home. When he reveals himself to be both honorable and constantly trying to be better by saying,"...learning martial arts is never ending and requires hard work, thus I train daily." Sensei realizes his humility by saying, "Excellent...You are the one we have been searching for." Sensei then gives the humble samurai the sword, instructing him by saying, "...Let this sword help you grow as a warrior and as a person in mind, body, and spirit." Takeshi grateful takes the sword, bows his head to the floor, and bids them farewell as he walks away. Then Michio looks up to Sensei and asks, "Is it time to start working on the next perfect soul?" and Sensei looks down and nods his head with a smile on his face.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: Anyone who would take the time to read this book would definitely feel inspired to live a better life. The story teaches one to live morally and to continue to strive to be the very best one could be. Its morals could be applied to any one's life and is the reason why this is a very beneficial book for children and even adults to read.

What problems/conflicts would this book potentially cause?:
I don't think that this book would cause any problems or conflicts. Its storyline teaches one to continue to work towards one's personal best. It encourages one to deny oneself of all impurities.
My reaction: Out of all the books I've read thus far, this is by far my favorite book. The illustrations are simply magnificent and gorgeous. I would recommend this book to every person who is looking to be inspired. This is the type of book every parent and or teacher should have in there bookcase. I will be encouraging everyone to check this book out from the library.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:15 PM


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