Newbery medalist and author of The Book of Three, Alexander offers a spellbinding, Chinese-inspired tale of a young prince who undertakes a pilgrimage with his father, only to encounter a vexing string of bad luck.
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When Prince Jen volunteers to search for the legendary court of T'ien-kuo, a mysterious old man chooses six gifts for him to bear in homage: a saddle, a sword, a paint box, a bowl, a kite, and a flute.
Puzzled by the humbleness of the gifts but full of high spirits and pride, Jen sets off -- but stumbles almost immediately into a series of misfortunes. Only with the help of his faithful servant Mafoo and valiant flute-girl Voyaging moon, and only after a breathtakingly exciting string of adventures, can Jen discover the real meaning of the gifts and face his true destiny.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-10-- From deep in the cauldron of world story comes a rich fantasy about a young man's journey from innocence to experience. In China during the Tang Dynasty, young Prince Jen, heir to the Dragon Throne, sets off to find T'ien-kuo, or Heavenly Kingdom, the utopia described by a mysterious wandering scholar. Accompanied by a large retinue of soldiers and his practical, plain-spoken servant, the idealistic, sheltered prince bears six gifts for the ruler of T'ien-kuo. As his journey progresses, he loses everything: his retinue, his possessions, his identity, his illusions, his friends, until at last, in one of Alexander's most moving passages, he finds himself a common criminal, wandering the roads of his own kingdom, wearing the wooden collar of punishment. Although experience is a harsh teacher, Jen never loses his common humanity, nor his faith in the bondmaid he loves. Alexander borrows form and content from the popular novels of the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, particularly Shi Nai'an's Outlaws of the Marsh (China Bks., 1988), and is influenced, as are the Ming-Ch'ing novels, by the vernacular literature of the Sung Dynasty. Yet Jen's story transcends all boundaries, mixing Alexander's familiar cast--the impulsive, good-hearted boy; the clever, independent young woman; the assortment of eccentric, loyal companions--with flavors of European folklore; Hans Christian Andersen; admiring Chinoiserie, Buddhist and Taoist ideas; Arabian Nights extravagance. Alexander satisfies the taste for excitement, but his vivid characters and the food for thought he offers will nourish long after the last page is turned. --Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
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Book Description Dutton's Children Books, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 525448268
Book Description Dutton's Children Books, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110525448268
Book Description Dutton Juvenile, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0525448268
Book Description Dutton's Children Books, 1991. Hard Cover. Book Condition: NEW. Dust Jacket Condition: NEW. First Edition. SIGNED by author (no inscription) 1st Edit. 1st printing hardcover with dust jacket, unused copy, no marks or blemishes, dust jacket not price-clipped; beautiful collectible copy. Immediate shipping w/tracking included. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 018511
Book Description Dutton's Children Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0525448268 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0286167