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Chin, Charlie.
New York : Children's Book Press, 1993
IL 3-6, RL 3.9
ISBN 0892391480
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
I chose this book because it depicts a female as a hero, a heroine. One who is courageous, smart, respectful, strong and able to meet men on equal terms. After all is said and done, she still obtains her femininity.

This ancient tale is about a young girl named Mu Lan whose aged father is summoned by the emperor to fight an invading army. Instead she goes to war to save her family's honor since her father has no eldest son. She puts on her father's armor, and distinguishes herself in battle only revealing her true identity when the war is over. Mu Lan walks, talks, and dresses as a man. Her "courage wins the day," and a "hundred battles," earning her the rank of general and the Emperor's highest esteem. She returns home as a hero after turning down a noble title and office.

The English version is truly child friendly in which rhyming details are used. Attractive watercolor illustrations in vibrant primary colors have much child appeal. Children will nevertheless enjoy the heroine's exploits and the moment of revelation when her war companion discovers her true identity. When he proposes that the "best of friends" become husband and wife, the dignified Hua Mu Lan responds: "You treat your friends with honor. Can your wife expect the same" The young man agrees, concluding this ancient legend with modern sensibilities and read-aloud appeal.  (Sylvia Simmons, teacher,

SUBJECTS:     Hua, Mulan (Legendary character) -- Folklore.
                        Folklore -- China.

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