From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–During World War II, 12-year-old CC is helping her grandmother rescue downed American pilots from behind enemy lines when she falls and ends up in a monthlong coma. Hypnotherapy provides a superfluous frame for the main story. She learns that in 1091, she is 13-year-old Mei Lan, who, along with her older brother, forms a close friendship with Ah Zhao, an orphaned slave possessing considerable artistic talent. As they grow up, the three friends explore the truth behind beauty and art, the prisons formed by societal expectations, and the lasting memories of one perfect day. In the story of their friendship, Mah provides a possible explanation for the provenance of several Song Dynasty paintings, reproductions of which appear in a full-color insert. Throughout the book, the story and characters are often lost in excessive historical detail and background. Further, explanations of culture and language are frequently and clumsily inserted into the dialogue. Despite this attention to historical detail, the characters are extremely modern, creating a confusing disconnect.–Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MDα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this Chinese Cinderella novel, CC’s odd conversations and references while recovering from an injury prompt Grandma Wu to take her to a physician who practices hypnosis. That’s the tipping point that plunges CC from mid-twentieth-century China to the days of the Northern Song dynasty, where she lives as a privileged daughter in love with a gifted young orphan painter. Hard-edged stepmother Niang works to thwart the relationship as CC defies her family and fights for romance and adventure. The painter, Ah Zhao, is based on a famous court artist in this time-travel historical fantasy that sings the praises of art and love. Grades 5-9. --Anne OMalley
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.