A quest set in contemporary China as two children race to find Imperial Chinese treasure to save their own farm in England. Lily was born in the Year of the Dragon. She's an impulsive child who jumps at the chance to visit her maternal grandparents in China for New Year. Mum and Dad can't be with her because their farm in England is in financial trouble. Lily and her brother Tom travel to China and both are fascinated by the different way of life. They hear about their ancestor -- Grandfather Tsui, who was a Court Artist in Imperial China, over 300 years before -- and who helped to hide Court treasures from being plundered. He left behind replicas, in a beautiful wooden box -- Lily's heirloom. When Lily finds a scrap of paper covered in Chinese characters in the box, she senses it is a clue to where the real treasure is hidden and she determines to seek this out. Together with her brother and her aunt, Lily travels to a country village between mountains and paddy fields...to search for her heirloom...her destiny.
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Mary Ellis was a primary school teacher for many years and the inspiration for her stories often come from work with children. Mary is married to the illustrator, Andy Ellis. They live in Barnes with their daughter Matilda.From School Library Journal:
Gr 3-5-Lily's parents are about to lose their farm, the only home the child has ever known. The family has been planning a trip to China, but, because of financial problems, her parents decide to send her and her brother by themselves while they look for a new home. Lily's mother wants her children to meet her family, and their trip is timed to coincide with Chinese New Year. Lily has an impulsive streak, a trait her mother attributes to her having been born in the Year of the Dragon. She has heard the family's 300-year-old story about the hidden treasures of Emperor Ch'ien-Lung and is determined to see Grandpa Zhang's treasure box of replicas and search for the real thing. Frequent black-and-white sketches complement the text, keeping readers engaged as they enjoy the historical and cultural information that is woven throughout this fast-paced adventure. A contemporary novel with a feisty female protagonist and an interesting setting.
Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins Pub Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006754589