Shadow Warrior: Based on the True Story of a Fearless Ninja and Her Network of Female Spies

illus. by Celia Krampien. 64p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. maps. Annick. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781554519668; pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781554519651.
Gr 5–8—An illustrated novel, based on historical fact, about a female ninja named Chiyome. The book begins with a colorful, political map of feudal Japan. Kyi subtly educates readers about 16th-century Japan, the empowerment of women, and the effects of war while developing Chiyome's character and introducing Aki, an orphan Chiyome trains as a ninja. Krampien combines traditional Japanese pen-and-ink art with contemporary illustrations done in green, blue, red, tan, and black that reflect and extend the text. Kyi clarifies fact from fiction in her author's note, saying that, "Mochizuki Chiyome was probably real," based on scholars' conclusions. Chiyome's husband and his uncle were real, but she fictionalized Aki's character.
VERDICT Kyi and Krampien fully involve readers in this well-told, thrilling story.

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