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The Kite Rider

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,055 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
Up and up the wind drew him.Haoyou looked about him and saw the wholeworld beneath him. And it was his. He couldbreathe! Today Haoyou was a kite, awindhover riding on spread wings.The great Miao master of the Jade Circus, offers twelve-year-old Haoyou the amazing chance to change his life -- to escape from his family's poverty and the pain of his father's recent death -- b ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 18th 2002 by Harper Teen (first published March 19th 2001)
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The Book Queen
This was so boring; I literally had to force myself to read more than a couple of paragraphs at a time, and had this not been for a challenge, I would most definitely have given up by about page 20 (or never even started, for that matter.)

Aside from that, Haoyou drove me insane. He's one of the most irritating characters I have ever had the displeasure to read about. He is:
+ appallingly arrogant
+ gullible (I know he's seven years old, but come on)
+ immature (I know he's seven years old, but com
Mar 17, 2013 Tanja rated it really liked it
I enjoy historical fiction and reading about places I have been to or live in. Therefore choosing this book seemed a perfect match. Set in 13th century China, shortly after the Mongol invasion under Kublai Khan, a young boy is pulled into an incredible adventure. After witnessing the haunting death of his father, he gets taken in by the Jade Circus, as one of their star attractions, flying kites. With the circus, he travels from place to place, risking his life with each new flight. Eventually, ...more
May 23, 2011 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was required for my class way back in september, but I just got my goodreads account. I like the plotline of the stroy, but I found that it didn't draw me in enough. In the first place, we experience the story from a boy who is supposed to be thirteen, but acts about the age of two most of the time. We are always being swayed by his horribly biased perspective of what's going on. In addition, the character of mipeng was completely frustrating and biased. We were told that Mipeng was su ...more
I’m giving this four stars with a bit a reservation.

I purchased this as an audiobook sometime ago. I’m quite sure the I purchased for ME to listen to with the impression that it was a YA novel. I’ve found that I prefer my listening material to have much less explicit sex and violence than what I might be fine with in a text format. I expected this story to be about a teenager and written for teenagers. However, I feel that this novel is more suitable for children probably in the late elementary
Ian Wood
May 09, 2016 Ian Wood rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Lizeth Velazquez
Mar 21, 2014 Lizeth Velazquez rated it really liked it
Shelves: etech545class5
McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Kite Rider. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

Characters: 12-year old Haoyou (main character), the Gou family, Great-uncle Bo (head of the family) and Great-aunt Mo ( Bo's wife), "The Great Miao" (circus master), and Kublai Khan ( Mongol conqueror).

Setting: 13th century China, Dadu City, Hai River, Xanadu

Theme: Values, Character Development, World History,

Genre: Children's Historical Fiction, Adventure

Target Audience: Elementary to Middle School. Grade: 5-7.

Apr 18, 2008 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an interesting read set in Ancient China. It's a story centered on obedience. The main character Haoyou had never before questioned being obedient to his elders, but all of that changes on the day that he witnessed the terrible death of his father.
This author mixes a fictional story with facts from the time period the book is written.
This books is a winner of the Carnegie Medal.
Feb 21, 2016 Neha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
What does it tell you that it took me nearly a month to get through this <250-pager?

Yup, the Kite Rider is a ... difficult book. Difficult not because it is eloquent or intricate; instead, it is far too simplistic for my taste. Now, I know from research that this was intended as a children's book, and truth be told, the only compelling factor I had to read it was that it was a gift from my Secret Santa 2015.

Within the context of a children's or coming-of-age genre, the book is an enjoyable
The Book Reader Supreme
Feb 10, 2016 The Book Reader Supreme rated it really liked it
Haoyou's father died only has his Great-Uncle Bo, Qing'an his mother, his little sister Wawa, and Great-Auntie Mo. Di Chou acts so kindly, but Haoyou knows he's the one who killed his father. His cousin, Mipeng, is a "medium", a medium is a person who can talk to spirits. She had a dream and when she told the Gou family everyone thought she was a "medium." Only Gou Haoyou knows the truth. Haoyou starts making kites with his greedy uncles money. His great uncle gambles all his money away. When Ha ...more
Elijah S.
Nov 12, 2014 Elijah S. rated it really liked it
I thought this book was pretty good. There was a lot of action but I did not really like the ending. In some places there was violence and some scary things but, Haoyou is my favorite character because he can fly.
Komi Amegblenke
Jan 06, 2014 Komi Amegblenke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing! This book is about a young child named Gou Haoyou, main character, who loses his father to a jealous sailor by the name of Di Chou. Di Chou tries to marry his mother with permission from Uncle Bo, Haoyou's greedy uncle. But Haoyou flies on a kite and allows for a ship to sail off with Di Chou on it thus preventing it from occurring. During the manned kite demonstration, Maio Jie -a circus master- notices Haoyou and comes to his house to have him apprentice with him while he ...more
Jan 04, 2016 RaphaelA rated it really liked it
When you start out the book, it seems dull. When you seem to get the plot a little better, it seems slightly interesting. But when you get into what the characters think and feel it sucks you in! Kite Rider
is a very interesting account of sorts, of a boy Riding Kites. I know it sounds kind of UN-interesting, but the whole take on philosophy and way of life is very informal and engaging. It takes you on a journey through ancient china, and has suspense and question around every corner. You want t
Jasper T
Jan 11, 2016 Jasper T rated it liked it
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean is a book worth a read if you have the time, about middle age China and how it affects a cast of very well written characters while they interact with each other, grow significantly, and change their relationship with one another. The pacing will sometimes throw you off, the setting in places could be a bit further explored as well as how the characters end up there, and the main character is quite annoying, but those are mostly the only real issues with t ...more
Seojin P
Jul 09, 2015 Seojin P rated it really liked it
This book is about a story that takes place in China. In the story there are people that are called wind-testers, and they are tied to kites and flown around and around, then they are brought back down to earth. A twelve-year old boy called Haoyou follows his father, Pei, to a ship called Chabi to discover the feeling of sailing. All of a sudden, Pei is forced by the first mate, Di Chou, to be tied to a kite and act as a wind-tester. As Pei flew, he grew extremely frightened of the height and th ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Seonaid rated it it was amazing
I loved this book when I read it to Sean years ago; re-reading it to Izzie has been a real pleasure.

Set in 13th century China, as Kublai Khan's invasion forces have decimated the Song Empire, this is the story of 12 year old Haoyou, brought up in the Confucian manner to blindly obey his elders and betters. Apprenticed by his grasping and opportunistic Uncle to the Jade Circus, along with his cousin Mipeng, this is an adventure story that crosses China, and a more personal adventure for Haoyou, a
Dec 10, 2014 Ape rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2007 bookcrossing journal:

Set in China during the 1300s, just after the Mongols have conquered, The Kite Rider follows the story of Haoyou, a young Chinese boy. After witnessing the death of his father at the hands of a cruel man set on marrying the widow, he must try to save his mother from an awful fate. With the help of his cousin, Mipeng, they manage to save his mother, for a year at least. But their greedy Great Uncle Bo is furious at everything that has happened, and there's only one thing
"Up and up the wind drew him. Haoyou looked about him and saw the whole world beneath him. And it was his. He could breathe! Today Haoyou was a kite, a windhover riding on spread wings."The great Miao master of the Jade Circus, offers twelve-year-old Haoyou the amazing chance to change his life -- to escape from his family's poverty and the pain of his father's recent death -- by becoming a kite rider!

Strapped onto a beautiful scarlet-and-gold kite, Haoyou is sent into the sky to soar perilously
Sep 07, 2010 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here’s an odd request for you: take a handful of story ideas—say a kite rider, 13th century China, a boy with the mentality of a sheltered eight-year-old and a circus—and picture them as bunnies. Picture them as bunnies, happily hopping around, multiplying and merging (because bunnies would never willingly inbreed) with reckless abandon. The end product should be a strange-looking bunny.
Now, this strange-looking bunny is Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Kite Rider (complete with useless inset maps.)
FINALLY settled in with some knitting to listen to the rest of this one.

Over all it was quite an interesting read/listen. The actors did a good job of bringing it to life and the annoying characters were suitably strangle-worthy. The author did a good job of giving the reader a feeling of being back in 13th Century China without overwhelming us with historical details. Details were presented as needed and reasonably paced with the action.

I found the characters a little annoying, however. The m
Mike Steven
I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. It's one of the novels that we teach in my department at work and I like to have read everything that is being taught in one of my English classrooms so I read it to see what it was like.

It probably deserves more than two stars to be honest - it's quite well written and the protagonist has an interesting conflict between family loyalty, honour of his father and what would be best for him as a person. There are also some interesting and e
Feb 28, 2008 Kellyn rated it really liked it
Disaster seems to follow twelve-year-old Haoyou. First his father is brutally killed by the conniving of Di Chou. Then Di Chou offers to marry his mother. When the family medium advises against the marriage, Di Chou exacts his revenge and burns Haoyou’s house down with the precious kite Haoyou made to support his family. With the help of his cousin, Mipeng, Haoyou traps Di Chou on a boat about to sail. The captain however is hesitant since the winds have not been tested. In desperation Haoyou of ...more
May 21, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing
It's the 13th century. Kublai Khan has conquered China, spreading the Mongolian empire from Ukraine to Korea. His epoch-making attempt to invade Japan is about to get underway—the one that will end with Kublai's army at the bottom of the Yellow Sea, thanks to a storm that will go down in Japanese memory as "Kamikaze" (divine wind). At that crucial point in history—to the Eastern world what the sinking of the Spanish Armada was to the West—Gou Haoyou is a sailor's son living in the coastal villag ...more
Jul 21, 2008 Rachelle rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2012 David rated it it was ok
Another one of those wannabe great books, in the Historical Fiction section. I have to admit, the book has a great idea, but the content makes this book mostly rubbish. Required for my English class, I had to read this book for summer reading, but I noticed a significantly large amount of problems with this book. Besides the belief of ghosts and spirits, it basically had no references to Chinese or Mongolian cultural ethnics or beliefs, which ruined the story, and made it seem all cartoonish, i ...more
Apr 17, 2011 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd read several lukewarm reviews for this, so I wasn't sure if I would really like it. I was surprised to be immediately drawn into the story as Haoyou's father is forced to be the sailor on the kite that tests the wind which is said to predict the prosperity of the ship's voyage. The wind testing doesn't end well for Haoyou's father, and Haoyou must now do what he can to protect his mother from the evil first mate from his father's ship. Through a series of events, Haoyou finds he must become ...more
Another great book from one of my favourite children's authors. 12 year old Haoyou lives in 13th century China with his mother, father and little sister Wawa. After Haoyou witnesses the death of his father in an accident at the hands of Di Chou, the brutal First Mate of a ship, he joins the Jade Circus as a kite rider to make enough money to prevent his mother from being forced into marriage with Di Chou by his greedy great uncle Bo. Haoyou and his cousin Mipeng, who is posing as a medium, trave ...more
Simeo Ubach
Jan 08, 2013 Simeo Ubach rated it really liked it
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrem is a story that has showed me how life is unfair but if you look ahead you can get through a life that is fair enough. This story doesn’t start with a very comfortable situation and this sometimes makes the book seem very sad and without a clear idea if you will like the book. It’s like a risk taking in a book that can end well or bad. The Kite Rider is about a boy around 12 years old (named Haoyou) that is having his normal life and everything seems very p ...more
May 18, 2013 Pamela rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading the Kite Rider which I bought for my daughter and picked up when I had a day or two to fill. I found straight away why my daughter picked it up and put it down. Haoyou is about 12 years old but his actions and views of the world made him seem so much younger. As an adult I felt for the boy even though I was frustrated with him due to his niavety but I could put it down to lack of education, ignorance, superstition, a culture of obedience, 13th century China, perhaps more easily ...more
this book is about a young boy named Haoyou, he lives in China with his mom, dad, and sister. Thier family struggles, as Haoyous dad is a sailor, with no respect for his wife, Qing-an, and thinks of Haoyou of only a useless child. He is envied by a hateful man named Di-chou, and when a life threatening task comes along Di-chou is first to put Haoyous father (Gou-pei) on the list. Gou-pei, not having much say when speaking to a bunch of drunk sailors is put up for the job. Haoyou is terrified at ...more
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Geraldine McCaughrean was born in 1951 and brought up in North London. She studied at Christ Church College of Education, Canterbury and worked in a London publishing house for 10 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1988. She has written over 120 books, 50 short plays for schools, and a radio play.

Her adult novels include Fires’ Astonishment (1990) and The Ideal Wife (1997), but she is bes
More about Geraldine McCaughrean...

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