Song of the Mountain
Song Wei lives with his grandfather on the mountain, but he is an outcast in the village. Karina is the only one who treats him kindly, but her brother is the leader of the bullies. It wouldn’t be so hard if Grandfather weren’t always telling him to forgive the boys who beat him and call him names.
One day things start to change. Song meets the daughter of the local lord, a strange shadow makes Grandfather send Song running ahead, a special box is left unlocked. However hard it was when he was the brunt of teasing and bullying, it is harder now as Song starts to learn who he is and who he must become.
I liked this story. It has the clean simple lines of Chinese paintings. There is a story that we think we know, but it is show to us with a new face. The simplicity makes this a good story for younger people, though it isn’t limited to the younger audience. Song himself is a complex boy with battling impulses and all the doubts you’d expect of him. The people around him gradually because less three dimensional as they move away from the centre of the story, yet because of the mythic feel of the book this feels right.
I recommend Song of the Mountain for anyone who likes a good story. It is easy to read, but no less powerful for that.