Bette's Reviews > The Tiger's Apprentice

The Tiger's Apprentice by Laurence Yep
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Mar 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: children-s
Read on March 23, 2011

** spoiler alert ** As an adult reader, I appreciated the inventiveness of this book. The Chinese mythical creatures are unique, and the Chinese atmosphere of the book makes it different from other fantasy books. I particularly liked the character of Stanley, the flying rat whose fur is the equivalent of Mary Poppins's bottomless carpet bag. Goblin Square reminded me of JK Rowling's Diagon Alley, and there are other Harry Potteresque aspects to the book. Tom's grandmother is killed, sacrificing herself for him. There is also an arch enemy and a fight against evil, but this is true of all high fantasy books. It has a lot of good themes--sacrifice for those you love, kindness, using your wits rather than brute force, and the tendency of people to label what is different "weird," to name a few--but I found myself admiring the book more than being absorbed by it. It seems to me that it's an excellent addition to children's fantasy lit, as there isn't a lot that is multicultural. (Tom is half Chinese-American & half Irish-American.) But I would be curious to know how a 5th grader would react to it. Any 5th graders out there? :)
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