The Ghost Foxby Laurence Yep, Jean Tseng, Mou-Sien Tseng
While his father is away from their Chinese village, Little Lee fights to save his mother's soul from an evil fox creature that has assumed human form.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyDrawing on a classic Chinese ghost story, Yep delivers a lively, shivery tale in which a nine-year-old boy tests his wits against those of a powerful ghost fox. The stakes are high: the ghost fox is intent on stealing Little Lee's mother's soul. Prompted by his loving mother's seemingly inexplicable transformation into a harsh and distant woman, Little Lee pretends to be a ghost fox and gets the best of his adversary, restoring his mother to her former self. Little Lee--resourceful, persistent and remarkably self-sufficient--makes an appealing hero. His story, though simply told, spans an impressive range, from the tension of the supernatural to the humor of Little Lee's interactions with his mother's family to the darkness of the mother's estrangement. The Tsengs (who illustrated Yep's The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes , reviewed above) provide a visual grounding for the exotic 17th-century setting with historically accurate pen-and-ink drawings. Ages 8-11. (Jan.)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-5-Seeking revenge for an unintentional slight, a ghost fox attempts to steal the souls of both Little Lee and his mother while the merchant Big Lee has gone downriver to trade. They protect themselves throughout the spring, summer, and fall, but let their guard down in the winter. The fox sneaks into the house and begins to harden the woman's heart against her only son. Changing from a patient, kind, and adoring mother, she becomes angry and cruel and puts him out of their home. Realizing that he alone can restore her spirit, the tenacious boy devises a plan that succeeds because of his cleverness and courage. Detailed, full-page, black-and-white illustrations appear throughout and draw readers into the narrative, adapted from a collection of Chinese 17th-century tales of the supernatural. Readers of sophisticated fairy tales will enjoy this fast-paced story in which a physically and emotionally abandoned child defends himself and his loved one, and goodness is victorious.-Susan Middleton, LaJolla Country Day School, CA
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