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The Jade Dragon: A Story of Ancient China
The Jade Dragon: A Story of Ancient China
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Reviewed Titles Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader

The Jade Dragon: A Story of Ancient China

Zhou never seems to beat his brother, Cheng, at anything. But when Zhou finds a jade dragon, his luck changes. Soon, Zhou is beating Cheng at everything. Will Zhou and his jade dragon be able to keep up the winning streak, or will he lose his luck?

GenreHistorical Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 2-4
Interest LevelGrades 2-4
Lexile Level570L
ATOS Level3.2
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #235513
PublisherPicture Window Books
Page Count64
Capstone Interactive eBook
List Price: $53.32 School/Library Price



School Library Journal - Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD

"Sassy, graphic-novel-style illustrations give these great little first chapter books extra appeal. Each one tells its story—that of an arrogant artist's apprentice (Painting), a fisherboy with low self-esteem (Dragon), the garrulous daughter of a wealthy silk merchant (Silk Road), and an outspoken orphan girl (Terracotta Girl)—against the backdrop of some aspect of Chinese culture. Thus readers learn about scroll painting, jiao di wrestling, the silk trade, and Emperor Qin's terracotta soldiers. While this is by no means an unusual formula, it is one that is seldom seen in first chapter books, and rarely executed with such verve: the characters learn their lessons (often with help from the words of Confucius) and children learn about China without ever feeling hit over the head. Wonderful introductions to historical fiction." - School Library Journal

February 1, 2009

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database - Sheryl O’Sullivan

"Part of the “Read-It” series of short chapter books meant to be readable by beginning readers, this book addresses the common theme of sibling rivalry. Twin brothers, Cheng and Zhou are introduced as being very different. Cheng bests Zhou in every contest, and he is arrogant about this. Zhou is clumsy and weak, lacking in self-confidence. When the two are fishing one day, Zhou finds a precious jade dragon which he thinks is giving him good luck. When the princess who lost the dragon comes looking for it, Zhou gives it to her reluctantly but learns from her that he carries luck inside of himself. This new-found self-confidence leads him to beat Cheng in a tournament. The book is divided into six very short chapters, with black and white illustrations on most pages. Vocabulary words and a short introduction are contained in a preface before the story begins. Other historic facts and context are given in an Afterword. During the introduction, the author connects the story to a saying from Confucius about riches and honor being connected. The theme of being honorable, even when it means you lose material wealth, is a strong one in the book. This series of books attempts the very difficult task of bringing ancient tales to children who are not yet strong readers. It also combines traditional literature with historic facts. The series, therefore, fills several needs in an elementary classroom. It would be improved, though, with the addition of a reading level designation for the books and with a statement to the reader about how much of the story is of an ancient tradition, how much is based upon historic information, and how much additional material comes from the author’s imagination. Still, as a story of ancient China told in the relatively rare form of an easy reader, this book will be useful in classrooms studying folklore or China." - Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

January 1, 2009

Jessica Gunderson

Jessica Gunderson

Jessica Gunderson grew up in the small town of Washburn, North Dakota. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has written more than fifty books for young readers. Her book Ropes of Revolution won the 2008 Moonbeam Award for best graphic novel. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and cat.

Go to the Author’s Page →