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The Kite Rider [Paperback]

Geraldine McCaughrean
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

4 Oct 2007
Haoyou knows that his father's spirit lives among the clouds above Ancient China. He also knows that to save his mother from being forced into a new marriage he must now follow in his father's footsteps and take to the skies, riding a kite through the clouds and the spirits of the dead.

Then the Jade Circus offers him a chance to escape his enemies and travel throughout the empire, and maybe even perform before Kublai Khan himself. But is going with the circus really the best option? It could be that the circus master is leading him into even greater danger.

This outstanding story is like nothing else you've ever read - packed with action, adventure and emotion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reissue edition (4 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192755285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192755285
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's 35 years now since I first got published, and 50 since I found out how writing let me step outside my little, everyday world and go wherever I chose - way back in Time, to far distant shores, towards my own, home-made happy ending. Not that all my books are an easy ride. I write adventure, first and foremost, because that's what I enjoyed reading as a child. But since I have published over 160 books now, there are all manner of books in among that number - gorgeously illustrated picture books, easy readers, prize winners, teenage books and five adult novels.
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. The only way you can find out which ones you like and which you don't is to read them, I'm afraid.
I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.

Geraldine McCaughrean has written 167 books and plays for both adults and children. The books include Peter Pan in Scarlet, one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006.

Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever Award. She has also had more titles short-listed (six, including one winner and one Highly Commended) for the Carnegie Medal, than any other author, the latest being The Death Defying Pepper Roux.

Product Description


It snatches you up from the first chapter . . . beautiful and compulsive (The Sunday Times)

gripping stuff (Ian Hislop, The Sunday Telegraph)

a marvellous soaring story that gives you a glimpse into another world (The Guardian)

A masterpiece of storytelling (The Times)

Packed with action and intrigue, this is an exhilarating new novel from an author who never disappoints. (Times Educational Supplement)

Book Description

A truly amazing story by the multi award-winning author, Geraldine McCaughrean

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's enough to send chills down your spine! 8 May 2001
By A Customer
I haven't read a book by Geraldine McCaughren before but I thought I'd give 'The Kite Rider ' a chance. When I picked it up I just couldn't refuse it. It's a story based on a boy called Haoyou who witnesses his father's spirit being taken up by the gods. He then has to take up a hard profession to keep his mum and baby sister alive. The job is in the circus risking his own life to summon the gods with his cousin, a medium, to help him on the way to success!
If you have any queries about my review or would like to ask any questions about the book, contact me. I think its a great book and recommend it to any one.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars kite rider 17 Nov 2006
I really enjoyed reading this book. I would have given it 5 stars but i got a bit confused sometimes because there were some words I didn't understasnd because I am only 10.You should read it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic read!! 13 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I have never read a book by this author before but certainly will try more! Haoyou has to follow a dangerous profession to save his mother from a dreadful second marriage. Will he survive storms, flooded rivers, the Kubla Khan and his great uncle Bo as he flies on his kite in the sky? You won't want to stop reading this at all!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 27 May 2012
WIth "The Death-Defying Pepper Roux" and "The Stones are Hatching" rating amongst two of the most enjoyable books I have read in recent memory, I had understandably high hopes for "The Kite Rider". Unfortunately I found it quite far removed from the former; shallow, barely scratching the surface of the story and emotions on offer, and with possibly one of the most hateful main characters I have ever had the misfortune to be introduced to. I personally felt no empathy with the illogical decisions he makes throughout the novel, and even his moments of epiphany felt far too little too late. The concept, as seems to be the norm for GM, was quite original and showed a lot of promise, but for me this is the least-enjoyable of her books that I have read. Then again, I'm hardly the target audience at 30; perhaps the lack of depth makes the novel more accessible to younger readers? Certainly there are a lot of positive reviews for this.

If you are over the age of twelve and have not read a GM book yet I would strongly recommend "The Death Defying Pepper Roux" over this, as a introduction to the mastery that GM is clearly able to attain; it's just sadly lacking in "The Kite Rider".
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The book caught my imagination beyond what i had ever believed possible for a childrens text. It demonstrated not only the extreme intensity of old Chinese religion but also a modern day style. For instance, the thought of being executed for the, then, crime of being disobidient to your parents (parent in this case) is astonishing but true. Thinking back to my days as a young child of six and below, i realize that i would have been dead long ago! However, despite the dramatic time and setting, the book should be suitable for children of five and over. The concept of witnessing your Father being straped to a kite after an involintary consumption of strong alchohol and then being let in to the open skys of the heavens to drift with the spirits of the deceased ancestors in which, i know, played an important role in chinese religous life, and still does for that matter. This triggered a series of incontrolable emotions in my mind, which was littered with the story-line from the book, weeks after i had read it including severe admiration for the leading character, Haoyou, and quite evere fear.This concludes my views on the fantastic andenthrawling novel, the kite rider but before i finish, i would like to leave you with a quotation that truely reflects my previous statments,
"Gou Haoyou knew that his father's spirit lived among the clouds. For he hadseen him go up there with a soul, and come down again without one"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping book 3 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic from the start and very well written. A real page turner with plenty of suspense, highly recommended!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, just wow! 7 Sep 2012
By Cuica
What a brilliant book! I was hooked from the first page, and tore through this book in just two sittings (work got in the way...).

Beautifully told, with an economy of words but beautifully evocative, the author manages to convey the atmosphere of the settings in a simple but powerful way that left me in no doubt about her meaning.

Other reviewers suggest that it is 'Young Adult', but I would recommend it to anyone.

Original and beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kite Rider 12 Dec 2011
I bought this book because some of the children in the class had read the review and wanted to read the book. I sent for it so that I could vet it before giving it to them.This book is FANTASTIC! I read it on a train journey and nearly missed my station, I was so enthralled by the characters and their adventures. As it is a little bit above the abilities of my reading group I donated it to the class above. I have asked them to give me their opinions if they read it. I would say that the book would appeal to boys and girls alike, probably higher ability readers in the 9yr old and above age group.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars High Emotion
This is a difficult book, but there are so many rewards. The characters' names alone are daunting (I kept forgetting who's who), the vocabulary demanding and the plot,... Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2011 by A. Stark
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great book, 13 Mar 2010
Geraldine McCaughrean at her best is a truly great writer. This book, with its evocation of life in old China, is almost great, too, but it falls down a bit at the very end when... Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2010 by Bachlover
4.0 out of 5 stars magical
This book doesnt grip the reader with suspense but draws them into the characters and their feelings and thoughts. Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2006 by Danny G
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventure in China
I picked up this book after my daughter had finished it and was soon engrossed. The characters were brought to life wonderfully and the settings were vivid. Read more
Published on 29 Nov 2006 by RedFish
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary read
If you are looking for a book that will fire your imagination and take you to a completely different world this is it. Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2006 by A reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Very original and interesting.
I loved this book! I'd never read anything like it. I feel like I've looked right into ancient China and seen the superstition, the family life and the tradition. Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars The Kite Rider - compulsive reading?
The beginning of The Kite Rider is not exactly dramatic.
"Gou Haoyou knew that his father's spirit lived among the clouds. Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2003
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