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The Geomancer's Compass Hardcover – November 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770492925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770492929
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,059,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Miranda’s grandmother discloses on her death bed that the family is cursed, Miranda is not inclined to believe her. She is a young woman of science, and it’s 2021, for goodness’ sake. Still, it’s hard to deny there’s something supernatural about the Liu family, as their great-great-grandfather (aka The Grandfather) lived to the age of 134 trying to locate the remains of his twin brother, Qianfu, whose unmarked grave is the stuff of feng shui nightmares. As a result, Qianfu’s ghost is hungry and feeds off the life force of The Grandfather’s descendants. It’s up to Miranda and her goofy, dyslexic, and compassionate cousin, Brian, to find Qianfu’s bones and break the curse by using a family heirloom, the lo p’an, or geomancer’s compass. The night-and-day dynamic between cousins Miranda and Brian creates most of the lighthearted humor and also highlights Miranda’s unlikable but very human characteristics. Embracing the tumultuous, tragic, but triumphant history of Chinese Canadians, Hardy explores a not-too-distant past of corruption, discrimination, hate crimes, and commerce in this adventurous mystery. Grades 7-10, --Courtney Jones

Review

“…The Geomancer's Compass will do well among middle grade aged readers, especially those interested in mystery and early Canadian history and Chinese culture themed novels…. Hardy has crafted a well-thought-out tale, one which is equally engaging as it is enlightening.”
— Recommended, CM Magazine
 
“Miranda Lu is a sixteen-year-old computer geek in 2021, when virtual reality is a completely immersive experience. It’s also a platform that can be accessed by the spirit of her dead great-great-grandfather, who sends Miranda and her cousin Brian on a mission to break the family curse. The curse’s origins in Chinese tradition make this a thoughtful as well as exciting read for the younger set.”
The DC Spotlight Newspaper


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Miranda Lu's Canadian-Chinese family has nothing but bad luck. Every one of her relatives has died, developed a serious medical condition, or been in a life-changing accident. Miranda thinks she's gotten off with only a morbid fear of germs. Having scored both a place in a top-notch private high school and a summer internship with an augmented-reality software company, she sees clear sailing ahead to becoming a programmer.

When her great-great-grandfather dies Miranda inherits his geomancy compass, and according to her grandmother, a mission to save her family. Geomancy is an ancient Chinese science that involves balancing good and bad energies to keep bad spirits at bay. Her grandmother says that the Lu family is cursed because Miranda's great-great-great uncle was murdered, his bones stolen and buried without proper ceremony. Unless Miranda finds those bones and ensures they are reburied properly, more family members, including herself, will die.

Miranda is skeptical, but when a prophecy says that she, too, is marked for death, listening to her grandmother suddenly takes on a new urgency. The only problem is, she needs wheels and doesn't have a driver's license. But her cousin Brian does. Against Miranda's better judgment, she and Brian are going on a road trip to, of all places, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.

I throughly enjoyed this book. The story is fast-paced, the dialogue cheeky, and there are meaty undercurrents about computer-enhanced reality, prejudice, and the lives of Chinese-Canadians.

by Sharon Wildwind
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David P. Whelan on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A Chinese Canadian family has suffered generations of bad luck and two 16 year olds are sent on a mission to undo the curse. It employs a bit of science fiction, Canadian history, and a well-paced mystery.

This pat summary doesn't do justice to the creativity Ms. Hardy injects throughout this interesting story. The teens must go to Saskatchewan and, in doing so, learn about the history of Chinese immigrants working on the railway in the 1800s. They solve the mystery of their missing ancestor, using virtual reality and avatars to help them along their way.

There are many unusual elements to Ms. Hardy's story. She quickly develops her characters so that you have definite elements to help you understand who they are. She deals with obvious issues, like historic persecution, but also digs into how individuals treat each other. She uses technology or elements of Chinese culture to help the story along without making them distractions. This is a thoughtful book that delivers an intriguing adventure.

The context is excellent for a wide range of ages. Strong Grade 4 readers can easily handle the text, while older readers may find the language and story less challenging but enjoy the interactions of the main characters. Older readers are also more likely to appreciate Ms. Hardy's treatment of prejudice and the history of Moose Jaw's gangsters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hardy on December 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book a while back but remember it well -- an amusing and interesting story, full of humor and family intrigue, odd Canadian history and a lot of weird and intriguing Chinese mythology. I know for a fact that adults would like it, but also have a friend whose children liked it as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SassC on December 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is appropriate for ages 9+. It is one of the best books! It is sure-to-love book and is very useful for long trips. This book will keep your children reading and excited for a sequel.And this book is one of the best fantasy novels ever written.
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