THE CASE OF THE GOBLIN PEARLS by Laurence Yep

THE CASE OF THE GOBLIN PEARLS

Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Yep (The Khan's Daughter, p. 68, etc.) launches the Chinatown Mystery series, set in modern San Francisco's Chinatown. Hired to design a float for the Chinese New Year parade, the colorful character actress Tiger Lil sweeps up from Beverly Hills, overawing her 12-year-old namesake, called Lily, with the force of her personality and exaggerated tales of classic stars and movies. Despite a recent rash of gang robberies, prominent landlord H.T. Wong and his wife allow their daughter to wear a fabulously valuable pearl necklace in the parade; though the masked thief who snatches it eludes Lil and young Lily, a series of clues and encounters soon leads the two sleuths to Happy Fortune, a sweatshop owned by none other than the Wongs. Along the way, young Lily (and readers) learn that Chinese culture and language are not monolithic, but full of regional and class variations; Yep also tucks an indictment of sweatshop practices into the story--to the extent that readers are likely to feel satisfaction when, at the end, Tiger Lil palms one of the recovered pearls for the exploited sweatshop workers to sell. Though the plot is built around coincidence, the lively characters and a well-drawn setting rescue it; presumably the many dangling threads will be sewn into future episodes. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 31st, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-024444-5
Page count: 179pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1997




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