Rating: 5/5
Reading Level -
Length - 10 books.
Teacher Thoughts
Such a moving series - I show clips from the movie and it always has a huge impact on my students. Seeing the aftermath through one person's
eyes makes the idea much more digestbile.
Student Thoughts
"...was a good read because it wasn't just a regular book, it was a manga which had pictures and speech bubbles that helped me literally see what was going on in the story... everything the author wrote about in teh story actually happened to him before and during Hiroshima, which educates us about what happened in Hiroshima in teh for of enjoyable manga... I made a connection between my dad and Gen's dad, in Barefoot Gen, Gen's father told him to always stand up for what you believe in and stick wiht what you believe in if you believe it to be true. My dad also tells me this and his personality is similar to Gen's father in the book"
Questions - "I wondered what would have happened if the U.S. didn't drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima. Would Japan not have surrendered?"
Lessons on Holocaust/Genocide. Bombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse Five.
Potential Issues
Lesson Ideas
I have used the following clip from the movie version in class when helping set background for Slaughterhouse 5.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfJZ6nwxD38. The students are moved by this short clip as it is so personal.


Rating: 5/5
Reading Level - middle school and up
Length - 151 (including extra pages with artwork)
Basic Premise -
A retelling of the classic Japanese national tale/history.
Lotes of history and historical terms here, but many versions of this event have been handed down.
Teacher Thoughts
I enjoyed reading this novel - the artwork is well done and much research went into this book. It is a quick read and would be a great introduction to studying Japan and its culture. Although the events took place in 1701-1703, it would also be neat to make connections to fedual Europe as well.
Student Thoughts
Samurai, Daimyo, Shogun, vassal, ronin, seppuku, hara-kiri, bushido
Potential Issues - none
Lesson Ideas
Have the students conduct research on the multiple versions that have been handed down - who is the guilty party? Oishi or Kira? Perhaps have a class debate on the topic. There are also many movies made on the topic (including the one with Keanu Reeves) - perhaps have the students complete a research project on the differences between the films as well.
There is real history here - perhaps have the students put together a travel website to the story - collect and present pictures/info on Edo Castle, Senagaku-ji Temple (where the 47 are buried),etc. They could also include a biography of the people included - such as Emperor Higashiyama.]