Welcome to another Spotlight Week!

I’m very happy to turn the spotlight on author B.L. Sauder. I met Bonnie at this year’s SCBWI Summer Conference and we became fast friends. I’m excited that today, I get the chance to finally review her book.


Mystery surrounds Hong Mei’s life. Her father trained her in the art of Gong fu when she was young in order to prepare her for something big. But before her father has the chance to tell her what her training is for, he is taken away. Her mother avoids questions about her father,  and instead focuses on raising Hong Mei the best way she can. Her mother’s magical healing abilities are a way for them to survive, though they have to move from town to town when people start getting suspicious of them. Just before the Chinese New Year, Hong Mei receives a series of emails from a certain Madam Ching, who professes to have information regarding her missing father. Eager to be reunited with him, Hong Mei responds to the email and finds herself trapped in a web of blackmail and deceit. Hong Mei’s desire to see her father again leads her to follow the villainous Madam Ching’s instructions.

Brothers Ryan and Alex were orphaned years ago when a fire killed their parents. They’ve never solved the mystery behind the sudden fire, but they were fortunate enough to have been adopted by caring relatives. They travel to Hongkong with their aunt and uncle to celebrate the Chinese New Year. While they’re equipped to mingle with their many relatives, and to eat strange Chinese foods, they aren’t prepared for the magical adventure that befalls them when they meet a strange Chinese girl who calls herself Hong Mei.

The three become a reluctant team, and they soon discover the truth. What they thought were just bedtime stories told by their parents suddenly becomes reality. The eve of the Chinese Year of the Golden Dragon is filled with strange and shocking revelations about themselves and their families. The legend of Black Dragon told to them at a young age, and the jade pendants they all wear grow to be more than a symbol of their missing parents—they become the link that connects the three children’s lives. In order to be reunited with their loved ones, they must work together and race against time to fulfill a task that was set for them two thousand years ago.

Fantasy, adventure, myth, and drama all roll into one wonderful read in B.L. Sauder’s  Year of the Golden Dragon.

Sauder’s vivid descriptions of Hong Kong and China certainly made me feel like I was right there with Ryan, Alex and Hong Mei. The author has also done a great job of incorporating a lot of information about Chinese culture throughout the story. Young readers will come away with a new curiosity about the exotic culture, and might even develop an interest in history and myth. I enjoyed how the characters developed and changed throughout their adventures, and I’m sure reluctant readers will appreciate the book’s fast pacing.

The book’s ability to encourage readers of all ages to take an interest in different cultures, along with the lessons it teaches about family and friendship certainly makes Year of the Golden Dragon a worthy read.


Tune in next Wednesday for an interview with B.L. Sauder, author of Year of the Golden Dragon

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4 Responses to “Spotlight Week: Year of the Golden Dragon Book Review”

  1. That’s why the book is cool – it has an Alex!

  2. Lynda Young says:

    The book sounds fabulous. It seems to have everything I love in a book.
    Thanks for the review.

  3. Southpaw says:

    Sound good. The cover is gorgeous too.

  4. mrpuma says:

    My son was born in the year of the golden dragon, and this book looks like it would be excellent for him. He is an avid reader and devours books like, well, a hungry dragon. Thanks for your detailed review.

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