Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Little street urchin ShaoSu has always wanted to belong. His small size makes him an easy target for bullies and baddies and this little "mouse" always needs a place to hide. When he is befriended by Hok and Ying, he thinks he has found a new family, and eagerly tags along as they continue on their travels. What he doesn't know is that his new friends are the most wanted criminals in China, and their adventures will land him in the middle of a battle not only for their lives, but for the future of China itself.<br> <br> As the characters rush towards a dramatic conclusion to the Five Ancestors series in this, the penultimate title, Jeff Stone has again created a marvelous story, a compelling voice, and a ton of exciting action.
$15.99 5-2009 (db)
In seventeenth-century China, orphaned ShaoShu, who can squeeze into small spaces, puts his life in danger when he becomes a spy for a young band of warrior monks known as the Five Ancestors and bravely infiltrates evil Tonglong's camp.
Excerpt provided by Syndetics
<anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">The Chinese junk pitched and rolled in the pounding surf, its ancient timbers groaning under the heavy load. The boat lay low in the water, cold spray blowing over its rails with each gust of the frigid autumn wind. Hidden below a tattered tarpaulin on deck, ShaoShu--Little Mouse--wondered what he'd gotten himself into. He shivered. The damp sea air had soaked through his thin skin, deep into his tiny bones. He had only been aboard one day, but he already yearned to have his feet back on dry land. ShaoShu had little experience on the water. True, he'd just spent more than a week traveling down the Grand Canal with his new friends, Hok and Ying, but that ride was nothing like this one. That was fun. This was agonizing. The sooner he was off this ship, the better. The boat lurched suddenly on the choppy seas, and a wicked crosswind lifted one corner of the tarp. ShaoShu quickly snatched it back down, catching a glimpse of General Tonglong's long ponytail braid swaying just a few paces away. ShaoShu shuddered. Tonglong--the Mantis--was uncomfortably close. As a homeless street urchin, ShaoShu had a lifetime of practice hiding in small, inconspicuous places. He had an unnatural ability to bend and twist his small body into all sorts of strange shapes, and he put these skills to use stowing away here on Tonglong's Chinese man-o-war in order to steal some information for his new friends. This, however, had been more than he'd bargained for. Perhaps he'd pushed his luck too far. ShaoShu shifted his position ever so slightly, and he felt the weight of the shiny cylindrical object resting on his lap. It was nothing really, some sort of spyglass. While it might prove useful to him, he had mainly taken it because it was made of a highly polished brass and glimmered with a luster he couldn't resist. It was this same fascination with shiny objects that had brought him to his current hiding place. With each passing wave, ShaoShu sank deeper into the largest pile of treasure he'd ever seen. He was surrounded by riches that even the Emperor would be hard-pressed to imagine: golden goblets, impossibly intricate jade figurines, mounds of pearl jewelry-- all of it piled here on the boat's deck and covered with a tarp like a worthless bale of straw. There were other piles, too, though none as large or magnificent as this one. The treasure was connected to a series of dragon scrolls that contained secret dragon-style kung fu fighting techniques. One of the scrolls was also a map, and Tonglong had used it first to find Ying's mother's house, then to locate the treasure in a secret seaside cave. The cave was only accessible at low tide, and Tonglong had timed his arrival perfectly. In less than an hour, his men had stripped the cave of its contents. Now Tonglong was headed south to take care of what he called "personal business." ShaoShu didn't know what that business was, but he was certain he had already gathered plenty of information for Ying and Hok. The moment he saw an opportunity to sneak off the ship, he would make a break for it. Having been aboard the better part of a day and a night, ShaoShu had learned the rhythms of the ship's watches. The laziest sailors were assigned to the watch that began at sunset, so that would be the best time to make his move. In the meantime, he would just have to wait. From somewhere high above the deck, he heard a lookout shout, "Sail ho!" "What do you see?" Tonglong asked, his metallic voice too close for ShaoShu's comfort. "It's a foreign sloop, sir," the lookout replied. "By the shape of the stern and the rake of the mast, I'd guess she's Dutch-built. Single mast with a reefed mainsail and a storm jib set taut. She's fast, sir, and sailed b Excerpted from Mouse by Jeff Stone All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon>
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Horn Book Review
Young orphan ShaoShu, allied with the good kung fu monks, infiltrates the inner circle of the bad kung fu monk. While the action in this series is plentiful and inventive, after six volumes of twists and subplots, it's hard to remember what the stakes are. One-note characters and wooden dialogue do little to stir excitement. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.