Year of the Tiger

Written by Alison Lloyd
Review by Viviane Crystal

In 2nd-century China, the Great Wall is crumbling in parts, leaving the country open to barbarian invasion. Chinese soldiers have arrived to repair the wall, but are forbidden to attack or even to respond to attack without informing the Emperor of the Han Dynasty. Hu, the son of a peasant, whose father has been conscripted for labor on the Great Wall, sees a chance to participate in an archery contest declared by Commander Zheng. Hu meets Ren, the son of the Commander’s second wife, who sees the contest as a way to win the love and respect of his father, and perhaps even to change the mean-spirited way he is treated by the Commander’s first wife and children back in Beicheng.

What begins as a relationship of animosity quickly becomes a great friendship as each boy helps the other out of precarious situations. When their troubles escalate to life-threatening status, they must work together to save China from a secret, deadly threat. Highly recommended for readers of all ages.