for Mulan by Grace Lin
In this telling, the Chinese hero Mulanís journey to greatness begins after her younger sister, Xiu, is bitten by a spideróthe shapeshifter White Fox demon Daji in disguise. Daji believes Xiu is the girl prophesized to one day save the emperor. The healer who arrives to help is an immortal, Jade Rabbit, who explains that the medicine that will save Xiu requires two hard-to-obtain ingredients, one of which resides in the garden of the Queen of the Immortals. Mulan, who believes herself is a failure at everything a good daughter should be, adores her perfect sister. Ignoring all conventions and expectations, she sets off on her beloved horse, Black Wind, to join Jade Rabbit on a quest to find the ingredients. Their search is complicated by Daji who, assisted by Red Fox, repeatedly tries to trap, hinder, and mislead Mulan in various guises. Meanwhile, Jade Rabbit is growing increasingly weak, having also been bitten by Dajiís spider form, which forces Mulan to take the lead more and more in their quest. Eventually Mulan finds herself in the midst of an army of warriors, desperate to hide her identity, only to discover that as her true self she can lead them all. Irresistible characters inspired by Chinese folklore, an action-packed plot, numerous stories-within-the-story that further illuminate histories and connections among the characters, and beautiful bookmaking combine in this rich and lively tale. (Ages 8-12)
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.
Family is important to Hua Mulan-even if her parents don't understand why she would rather ride her horse, Black Wind, than weave, or how her notorious clumsiness can be so different from the graceful demeanor of her younger sister, Xiu. But despite their differences, Mulan has a deep love for her family, especially Xiu. So when her sister is bitten by a poisonous spider, Mulan does everything she can to help, including seeking out a renowned healer. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is more to both the mysterious spider bite and the healer than meets the eye. On a quest with the Jade Rabbit of legend, Mulan visits extraordinary places, meets Immortals, and faces incredible obstacles while searching for an antidote for her sister. And the danger only rises when Mulan learns of a prophecy foretelling that a member of the Hua family will one day save the Emperor . . . and of the powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming to pass.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.