The books are written by Richard Platt, the author of Castle Diary (one of my favorites!!).
We recently covered the Mongol conquest of China in our history studies,
so the four two-page spreads of China during A.D. 1200s were of particular interest.
This also lead us into one of my most favorite read-alouds this year, The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean.
Russ and Levi were riveted.
The writing is exquisite. The setting is exotic. The plot is captivating. The pace and length of book perfect for reading aloud.
The story truly helped illuminate a culture and period in time with which I was wholly unfamiliar.
From the back cover:
"This is a novel about breathtaking sacrifices, about love, courage and friendship. It snatches you up from the first chapter, and, like Haoyou riding his kite, carries you up into a realm that is shocking, beautiful and compulsive. Read this novel, and be amazed." ~The Times of London
I really can't say it better than that.
ETA: I should mention that this book really is not suited for a sensitive child,
as it certainly doesn't gloss over many realities of life in China in the 1200s.