Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: THE MYSTERY OF THE JADE PRINCESS


The Mystery of the Jade Princess review

THE MYSTERY OF THE JADE PRINCESS
Marilyn Granbeck
Scholastic
1989

Available: Paperback

Sue and Jenny are excited.  In just two days the Chinese New Year's festivities begin. It’s a fun celebration. Sue's brother is practicing for the parade as one of the dragon tail handlers. The girls get to wear exotic costumes and perform in a special program of Chinese dances. But this year something is different.
Mr. Chin always displays his lucky carved jade princess in his shop window, but it's not there. It doesn't make sense. The statue always watches over the festivities. In its place is an empty space. What's even stranger is that Mr. Chin and his daughter won't talk or call the police. Not even when the girls find him tied up in the back of his shop. Plus there are a couple of suspicious strangers hanging around the shop. Something is definitely wrong. Even if Mr. Chin won't ask for help, Sue and Jenny are determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.
   This was a nice read. The setting enhances the story, but doesn't get in the way of the mystery. It's well written and the girls are not only brave, but have great logic skills. It's well paced and although it has an older publication date, it feels fresh. Plus it reveals a nice slice of life in an exotic American culture that is often overlooked.

Target audience: Grades 4-5
Mystery / suspense: good
Kid appeal: good



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