A boy-against-adversity story with an insistent Chinese accent. Li-Ti is orphaned at eleven when he's separated from his family in fleeing the Communists and arrives on Taiwan alone. After years of heartbreaking trials his heritage-imposed morale together with remarkable resourcefulness and enterprise elevate him from hungry, terrified street urchin to university scholar. While working as a curator at the Nationalist museum he rediscovers the very Palace Treasures his curator-father had seen safely out of Peking so long ago--and also finds his supposedly dead sister touring with American students; she promises an imminent family reunion with their very much alive parents in San Francisco. Li-Ti's spunk is redemptive when Iris plight tempts too many tears.