Chinese Mythology Action Adventure Book for Kids
I do really like Asian American children’s literature. It is to be a new but growing genre. So when I was offered The Monkey King’s Daughter by T. A. DeBonis to review, of course, I said yes. It came in the mail and sat on the kitchen counter for just a couple of hours when my oldest came home from school, saw it, and took it up to her room, intrigued. The next day, after reading late into the night judging by the difficulty we had in waking her up for school, she said that she loved the book and to please get her the rest of the series.
After reading it myself, I can see this book’s appeal. Like the Percy Jackson series (and now the Red Pyramid series) by Rick Riordan, it is a fast-paced, adventurous read combining a kid in modern times with the mythology of his or her past. Add in a royal secret background replete with special powers that include impressive hand-to-hand combat skills and hair ornaments that morph into fighting weapons, and you get every kid’s secret Harry Potter fantasy.
The plot synopsis:
Meilin is a 13-year-old girl who lives in California with her mother and uncle. Her life seems very ordinary and fraught with the usual high school struggles of zits, popular-but-obnoxious girls, and trying to fit in. Her life turns upside down when she learns that her father is the immortal Monkey King and her grandmother, the Chinese goddess of Mercy. Worse yet, she morphs back and forth into a monkey form complete with a tail! When a special birthday present from her uncle turns out to be a gate that can teleport her into the mythical past, Meilin must find the courage to battle side by side with her father to save her kidnapped mother from her father’s greatest enemy.
For girls seeking an Asian version of the Percy Jackson series, The Monkey King’s Daughter by T. A. DeBonis is a fast and fun read. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.