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FA Mulan: The Story of a Woman Warrior Paperback – March 2, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (March 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 043925969X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439259699
  • ASIN: 0786814217
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"A good swordsman should appear as calm as a fine lady, but he must be capable of quick action like a surprised tiger," says a seasoned warrior to Fa Mulan, unaware that the young soldier is in fact a woman. Award-winning author Robert D. San Souci and Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng have created an elegant, visually stunning retelling of the popular Chinese legend. When Fa Mulan learns that her father has been drafted into Khan's army to fight the Tartars, she is shocked--her father is far too old and weak to go to war. She forms a brave plan, which her family reluctantly accepts, and, "At dawn she cut her hair short, put on her father's armor, and fastened his weapons to the horse's saddle."

Fa Mulan is excited and afraid, and soon finds herself engaged in fierce combat with the Tartars. She studies the art of war, and becomes skilled with the sword. As her accomplishments gain fame, she is called to appear before the Khan in the royal city of Loyang. Fearing the discovery of her true gender, Mulan is anxious about the consequences for her family. But she needn't have worried; "'General,' the Khan began, 'you have served me well and have brought honor to your family. Your deeds are enough to fill twelve books. I give you a thousand strings of copper coins as a reward. What else do you wish?'" Relieved, the woman warrior simply asks to go home.

The noble story of this legendary Chinese heroine has inspired poets, writers, artists, dramatists, and readers worldwide for centuries. This particular retelling dates back to the earliest versions of The Song of Mulan, probably composed during the Northern and Southern Dynasties (A.D. 420 to A.D. 589). San Souci's carefully researched interpretation of the ancient story is gentle, dramatic, and inspiring, and the Tsengs' beautiful, expressive watercolor paintings, bordered top and bottom like a Chinese scroll, are lovely. (Ages 7 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Damien on December 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Forget Disney's version of Mulan! Robert San Souci's adaptation fleshes the simple storyline, symbolism and imagery of the original Chinese poem, with imaginative use of details such as the use of The Art of War by Mulan as a commander. In addition, Mulan's filial piety is portrayed fittingly as she sought her parent's approval to join the army instead of running away from home. Mulan's feelings of romance for her comrades and fear of punishment by her ruler serve to endear us, just as her courage and wits impress us, making this a tale suitable for the young and old.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hyneman on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is great story, well written and well illustrated.

If you are looking for a story to read TO your youngster, I highly recommend it. If you are looking for a story your yonugster will read to you, keep looking.

My son and I both enjoy this story very much.
But with 8-9 sentences per page,
sentences that average 10+ words,
and 12-point type throughout,
it takes the fun out of reading for any reader 2nd grade or below.

I bought this because I thought my son
(2nd grade reading level) could read it to me.

He can, but sentences with like
"Her mount suddenly lurched sideways, forcing the enemy's horse to buck and rear, unsettling the rider.
Taking this advantage, Mulan delivered a fatal thrust, and the man tumbled into the dust."
it is work for him.

Contrast that with (from an ACTUAL K-2 reading-level book)
"Inside the Mecha-Misquito Mr. Misquito was getting very angry. he knocked on the bathroom door."
- Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Adventures

And contrast it with (from and actual Gr 2-3 reading-level book)
"Although there are thousands of private detectives in the United States, the town of Idaville had but one."
-Encyclopedia Brown Brown Solves Them All

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE this book, and so does my son.
But it is advertised as "Reading level: Ages 4-8"
and it is not.

Get it to read to your child.
Don't get it for your child to read to you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book I believe is a more accurate adaptation of the orginal Chineese legend. In this version Mulan is not only smart, but also strong. Also,she joins the army with the permission of her family instead of running away in the night. The illustrations are more realistic watercolors, which are beautiful and give a more Chineese feel than other cartoon type illustrations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations in San Souci's retelling of the popular traditional Chinese story of Fa Mulan are stunningly beautiful. The artist creates each page to look like an ancient scroll. The story itself is simply and powerfully told. I highly recommend this book especially for young girls and young women.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Megan Vaughn on October 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
What many people don't realize is Robert San Souci was one of the writers for Disney's Mulan. It was even his idea to write in the character Mushu. I once met this author and I realized how much work and research went into this wonderful story about a young girl doing something extrodinary. I recommend it for all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Grambo on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
When her ailing old father is called to service in the Khan's army, Fa Mulan realizes that he is unable to fight in a battle. To save her family from punishment, Mulan cuts her hair, dresses as a man, and reports for service in her father's place.

A thrilling retelling of a popular Chinese legend with an Author's Note at the back describing the history of the tale. One of the problems with a book that has been made into a children's movie is that people don't realize how complex the original story is. Your younger children will enjoy this story if you read it to them, and shorten or simplify the language. The middle-grade kids will enjoy the story, but might think of it as a child's picture book at first glance. Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng have created marvelous acrylic paintings, beautifully rendered, that give light and life to the story. Ages 6-12.
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