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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Eagle (The Five Ancestors, Book 5)* by Jeff Stone- young readers book review
Eagle (The Five Ancestors, Book 5)
by Jeff Stone
Ages 9-12 240 pages Random House April 2008 Hardcover    

Eagle by Jeff Stone is the fifth book in "The Five Ancestors" fantasy series that launched in 2005 and quickly grew into an international success. The authorís passions for martial arts and his personal experience with adoption played a major role in the creation of "The Five Ancestors."

Several characters lead the story along, but the main character is Ying (formally named "Revenge Dragon," or Soulong). Ying is an angry young man who feels driven to seek revenge for his fatherís death, yet when he fulfills this dream, the truth nearly sends him to his knees. In his youthful heart, Ying feels that he is alone, without family or support, yet all around him he has assistance from those who share his path. Oblivious, Ying continues on a self-destructive path until his old temple sister, Hok, joins his crusade. Soon they find themselves with another companion, a street urchin by the name of Little Mouse, who helps them time and time again, though Ying barely tolerates his presence. Within a very short time, Yingís heart melts, and he learns to accept and be kind to his new friends.

Eagle is reminiscent of classic Chinese tales with treason, honor, martial arts, betrayal and the humble growth of the human spirit being the main focus of the storyline. The action scenes are well-portrayed, but it seems that most of the author's attention went into these, rather than making the story itself more fulfilling. The setting for the book is based in ancient China, with many old traditions, gender roles, and the brutality and arrogance of that era.

Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed to find that a large publisher like Random House is not embracing environmental options (acid or chlorine-free paper, recycled content, veggie inks, carbon offsetting, eco-registered forests, etc.). I see this as a great opportunity to influence this publisher in being more responsible. On a positive note, however, the book is printed in the U.S., which results in fewer fossil fuels spent on North American readers.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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