School Library Journal Review - Year of the Golden Dragon

Reviewed by: Jennifer Rothschild

Gr 5-8-In 210 BC, the Black Dragon killed the Emperor and his court in revenge for the Empress destroying a precious piece of jade. To prevent the same fate from happening again, the Emperor's descendants must return the three pendants made from fragments of the jade to the Black Dragon more than 2000 years later or be subject to another massacre. Hong Mei is a Chinese girl looking for her missing father. She learns that his stories about the Black Dragon were true and knows that she must return her jade necklace to it. But first, she must journey to Hong Kong and find two Chinese-Canadian brothers visiting family there and convince them that they, too, must give up their pendants. Chapters alternate between Hong Mei and Alex and Ryan as they are magically rocketed between Hong Kob, Beijing, and Xian. The excitement and adventure mounts as events conspire to convince them that the family stories are true, the Empress's descendants try to take the jade, and the Black Dragon himself stalks the three young people. Enemy forces not only try to keep them from returning the stones, but also keep them from trusting one another as the stakes grow higher. Although Hong Mei's magical powers often seem overly convenient to the plot, readers will enjoy this thrilling and fast-paced fantasy. - Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD

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