________________ CM . . . . Volume xxi Number 25 . . . . March 6, 2015


Ninjas. (Crabtree Chrome).

Natalie Hyde.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
48 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & html, $11.95 (pbk.), $21.56 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1401-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1365-4 (RLB.), ISBN 978-1-4271-8980-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4271-8974-5 (html).

Subject Heading:
Ninja-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

***˝ /4


Who Were the Ninjas?

Ninjas were the secret agents of medieval Japan. They were known for their amazing spying skills. They could climb steep walls and leap over huge gaps without getting hurt. They were so good at sneaking in and out of buildings that people thought they had magic powers.

Some rulers were so afraid of ninjas sneaking in at night that they built “nightingale floors.” The floorboards in Nijo Castle, Kyoto, chirped when anyone stepped on them.


This fascinating nonfiction book about Ninjas contains everything a young fan would want to know about these legendary secret agents. The book begins with a scene from history. Arakawa Shichirobei and Mochizuki Yoemon are entering Hara Castle so they can gather plans and passwords for the shogun of the Tokugawa region. The photography looks like it’s from a Hollywood movie set, and the headings and facts contained on the page add drama to the setting. Now that the author has the reader’s attention, she segues into a thorough definition of a ninja. She tells who they were, what they did, where they lived, and what it was like during the times they were around. She compares ninja skills to the skills of other warriors (including samurai, warrior monks) and tells how female ninjas (kunoichi) were trained. When Ninjutsu (art of espionage) is mentioned, the author includes facts about its four main goals and 18 skills. In this chapter, weapons are described, labelled, and photographed. The main focus of the book is made up of eight pages of ninja missions throughout history and six pages of famous ninjas. The book ends with the author’s giving truth to many myths surrounding ninjas (Ninjas wore black clothing and masks) and stories behind the ninjas of today (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a character in a James Bond movie). Back material consists of a bibliography of books and websites, a 21 word glossary, and a detailed index. This book will likely appeal to reluctant readers, ninja fans (boys and girls), or history buffs.

Highly Recommended.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

CM Home | Next Review | (Table of Contents for This Issue - March 6, 2015.) | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

Updated: October 17, 2014 (hsd)