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ARCHER’S QUEST by Linda Sue Park

ARCHER’S QUEST

By Linda Sue Park

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 15th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-59631-3
Publisher: Clarion

This brisk time-travel yarn propels a modern 12-year-old boy into a tangle of Korean history, the Chinese Zodiac and the age-spanning skill of archery. Facing a typical latch-key Monday, Kevin is shocked by an unusual bedroom intruder: Ancient Korean leader Koh Chu-mong, (fresh from riding a tiger in 55 B.C., and conveniently conversant in charming English), lands in Dorchester, N.Y. in 1999. As he and Kevin resolve their mutual incredulity, a goal unites them: Twenty-four-year-old Chu-mong must return to the past to lead his people. The narrative, peppered with Chu-mong’s expert archery, Kevin’s crucial math calculations (both inaccurate and corrected) and frantic research (via a phone conversation with his grandparents and online library resources), flows swiftly to a tidy, earthy resolution. One tiny quibble: Fully a third of the novel transpires before it’s revealed that Kevin was born in 1987, a fact crucial to the story’s mathematical resolution. Potentially, this jars the reader expecting a wholly contemporary protagonist. Still, the satisfying feats of archery, Kevin’s urgent, believable puzzling and Chu-mong’s ultimate re-launch add up to an exciting novel for male readers, both reluctant and engaged. (historical notes) (Fiction. 9-12)