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The Kite Rider Paperback – Import, October 1, 2007
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|Paperback, Import, October 1, 2007||
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`gripping stuff' Ian Hislop, The Sunday Telegraph
`a marvellous soaring story that gives you a glimpse into another world' The Guardian
`A masterpiece of storytelling' The Times
`Packed with action and intrigue, this is an exhilarating new novel from an author who never disappoints.' Times Educational Supplement
About the Author
- Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition (October 1, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 212 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0192755285
- ISBN-13 : 978-0192755285
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.12 x 0.63 x 7.76 inches
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Haoyou is the boy living this nightmare, adrift in a sea of tradition, obedience, and superstition, who takes the daring gamble of offering himself as a wind tester:
"...Again the crew tugged on the rope, to tilt it back into the face of the wind. Haoyou's head cracked against the matting, and the rope handles burned the skin off his palms. He could hear the fibers of the rope creaking under the strain, his ribs bending inward where the harness crossed his chest. Perhaps his kite would burst apart. Perhaps there would be no air at all to breathe at the top of the sky"
The key to this riveting story set in thirteenth century Cathay (China) is a strong, cunning, heroic female character--a distant relative named Mipeng. I was continually touched and astounded by her bravery and intelligence as well as her friendship and support of Haoyou. She is fiercely determined to strip that blindfold of obedience from his eyes.
"And all at once, as if fear were a cloud layer through which he had risen, Haoyou looked about him and saw the whole world beneath him. And it was his. Like a sliver shield daubed with blue and green, it throbbed, convex, complex, beautiful. He was a swimmer floating on the surface of an ocean, borne up by such a clarity of water that he could see each sunken treasure, each darting fish, each twist of coral down there in the unbreathing fathoms below. He, out of all its sluggish inhabitants, could breathe! He alone had mastery over this shining province so beautiful that it spangled red and black and green in front of his eyes."
It is also fascinating to get such a vivid taste, vision, and smell of the Cathay encountered by Marco Polo--from the grimy, oily seaside villages to the opulence of the aforementioned Mongol conqueror.
And it's a rare adventure story that could top that feeling McCaughrean gives us in THE KITE RIDER--of flying hundreds of feet in the air, over a land of long ago, anchored to Mother Earth by a kitestring.
Haoyou and his cousin, Mipeng, set out to stop Di Chou by sending him and his evil plans on a sea voyage. However, Haoyou must bribe the ship's crew to get them to take Di Chou on board. He agrees to be a wind tester - a dangerous job where Haoyou is strapped to a kite and propelled upwards into the wind to test to see if the ship's voyage will be successful.
Haoyou wanted so much for his mother to be saved from the man who killed his father that he found the courage to risk his own life. After a man in the crowd sees Haoyou's skill as a wind tester, he approaches Haoyou's great-uncle Bo to ask that Haoyou join the circus. Bo gives Haoyou and Mipeng to the circus in the hopes of them earning money for him to gamble away.
When Haoyou and Mipeng begin to earn money in the circus, Haoyou's uncle Bo is there, ready to take it away from them. Haoyou faces a difficult decision - should he be obedient and respect his elders as is correct in 13th century China, or go against everything he has been taught and save the money for his mother and himself?
This exciting and suspensful story about Haoyou's quest to save his mother from Di Chou and his own family is sure to keep you turning page after page.