Synopses & Reviews
It isn't every day you meet a tiger. And certainly not a tiger in a suit and tie. And definitely not one who knows your first name.
From that minute on, Tom's life changes forever. Tom has always felt different from everyone else, but he has no idea how different he really is until he learns that he is the latest in a long line of magic-wielding beings called Guardians. For centuries, a Guardian has protected a powerful talisman that can either bring peace to the world or bring about its destruction. it has been kept safe-until now.
For now, the most evil being of all has sent his terrifying minions to lay siege to the talisman and its latest Guardian, a tiger called Mr. Hu. The Guardian has his own allies in the battle, including an outlaw dragon, a mischievous monkey, and his new apprentice-Tom. But Tom doesn't want to be the tiger's apprentice. What can he possibly do to help this ragtag band? And can they all stop bickering long enough to unite their powers in time?
This rich, action-packed fantasy from two-time Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep reveals a hidden world within our own-where animals take human form, where friendship is the final weapon in the battle between good and evil, and where a young boy must save the world he knows . . . and the one he is just discovering.
"'A very few must protect the many, and with no thanks for their efforts.' An ominous portent for an eighth grade boy, but that's the lesson at the heart of this original fairy tale, in which Yep (Dragon of the Lost Sea) once again successfully mixes fantasy and Chinese history. Tom Lee lives with his elderly grandmother, Mistress Lee, in a house filled with arcane signs and mirrors with trigrams. She has been teaching her grandson the philosophy of the Lore, but Tom soon discovers just how much power his Grandmom holds as a Guardian. The day he comes home to find Mr. Hu, a shapeshifting tiger who once studied under Mistress Lee, dark forces attack, seeking a magical artifact. Tom's Grandmom is killed, and he and the tiger must seek out the evil Vatten; the villain has stolen a fabled phoenix egg and is trying to force it to hatch. Mr. Hu gathers two other admirers of Mistress Lee: the dragon Mistral and mischievous Monkey. An intriguing side story tells how Monkey led a rebellion against Heaven itself, and stole magical peaches that give eternal life. Small touches like these, combined with nuggets of wisdom ('Magic that forces someone to change taints itself. It poisons the heart of the user,' Hu explains to Tom) and often elegant prose (Mistral's 'scarred scales were black as chips of night') endow this tale, the first in a trilogy, with a sense of wonder. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Tom Lee's life changes forever the day he meets a talking tiger named Mr. Hu, and discovers he is the latest in a long line of magical Guardians.
From two–time Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep comes the first book in an action–packed fantasy series that has recently been optioned for film by Miramax!
From the two-time Newbery Honor author comes the first book in his new action-packed fantasy series, now in paperback, in which the life of Tom Lee changes when he meets a talking tiger named Mr. Wu.
About the Author
Laurence Yep grew up in San Francisco, where he was born. He attended Marquette University, was graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife, writer Joanne Ryder. Mr. Yep is one of children's literature's most respected authors and a recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his body of work. His novels include Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate, both Newbery Honor Books. He is also the author of Sweetwater; When the Circus Came to Town; The Imp That Ate My Homework, winner of the Georgia Children's Book Award; The Magic Paintbrush; and The Earth Dragon Awakes. The author of numerous other books for children and young adults, Mr. Yep has taught creative writing and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara. In 1990 he received an NEA fellowship in fiction.