The Martial Arts Book by Laura Scandiffio. This wonderful book goes through details and the history of Martial Arts and how many of the different styles are connected. It goes through some of the myths and how Martial Arts can affect us even today. Ms. Scandiffio provides a great, unbiased look at Martial Arts, which is rare to find at times from most Martial Arts books. The writing is clear and easy to follow and the illustrations throughout the book are beautifully done.
The Peaceful Way: A Children’s Guide to the Traditions of the Martial Arts by Claudio Iedwab. This book is geared for an older audience of around 8-10 years old or older. It goes through some of the basics of how one should act as they study Martial Arts. This is great for a newer student who maybe is still feeling a bit shy about certain areas like competitions or what do to at the school. Caution needs to be taken though as some of the aspects may vary slightly depending upon the discipline and background. Overall, it’s a good general guide of what one should expect and how to act as a good Martial Arts student.
- Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin. Julie thinks that getting a black belt will be easy. But she soon learns otherwise and in the process learns an important lesson about never giving up. This cute story is great for the younger reader and applicable even beyond the realm of Martial Arts.
Samurai Girl series by Carrie Asai. I was attracted in the store by the bold title on the cover, “Samurai Girl” and an image of a fairly modern girl. What could this book possibly be about and how badly did they butcher Martial Arts? To my surprise, the series has been a delight to read. The book is filled with a great sense of the American-Asian culture, a mix between traditional roles and the Western world around Heaven, the main character. Heaven herself goes through an impressive transformation, beginning life as an innocent orphan and only survivor of a plane crash to having her world turned upside down at her arranged marriage and vowing for revenge for the death of her adopted brother. I found these stories great for teenage girls or older.