The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean

We had to take a break from the Keys of The Kingdom series as book #5 doesn’t come out until May of this year but we aren’t taking a break from reading interesting books.  Geraldine McCaughrean’s book, The Kite Rider, a Carnegie Medal winner had us all enthralled.  It is the story of a boy named Haoyou living in 13th century China who sadly witnesses his father Pei’s untimely death testing the winds on a man-bearing kite.  In a bid to keep his beautiful mother from being forced to marry the man responsible for Pei’s death, Haoyou ends up becoming a kite rider himself.  His stint works and leads to employment with the Jade Circus.  Hayou finds himself travelling through rural China all the way to Xanadu, the summer abode of the Kublai Khan.  In his journey, he learns some hard lessons about life.

The book was beautifully written and brought home the sad but true message that not all adults are honorable and worthy.  It is a picture of a boy growing up and learning to think like an adult and leave the ways of childhood behind.  I wish that I could find more books like this one.  It made for good conversation.