Kellyn's Reviews > The Kite Rider

The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
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's review
Feb 28, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: gepl, historical-fiction-juvenile, multicultural
Read in January, 2005

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 offers himself as a kite flyer and tester of winds.

Haoyou rides the kite and the ship sails away with Di Chou. The owner of the Jade Circus watches Hoayou’s ride and offers him a job with the circus, riding kites. Together Haoyou and Mipeng leave with the circus. Eventually however, their uncle Bo tracks them down and takes their earnings. Haoyou returns to his home town only to find Di Chou. Haoyou must find a way to be rid of Di Chou and his uncle Bo and a way to support his mother.

Thirteenth-century China comes alive through McCaughrean’s descriptive writing. Haoyou’s story of love, courage and wit entertains and enthralls.

Highly recommended.

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