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$9.99
Shanghai, November 1937. Yaya, the eight-year-old daughter of a diamond merchant, lives a life of luxury in the French Concession in Shanghai. Her one great passion is the piano. While she is preparing for an important audition, her father decides that the family must leave town in the face of the imminent Japanese invasion. The evening before all the family is to leave, stubborn Yaya, unaware of the danger, runs away in an attempt to make it to her audition come what may. On the way, in the midst of the crowd fleeing the Japanese offensive, She is caught in a bombardment. She owes her life to Tuduo, a street urchin who discovers her unconscious in the ruins of a house. With his help, Yaya learns that her family fled for Hong Kong without her, and she determines to go join them there right away. Tuduo begins to dream about what his life would be like if Yaya's parents welcomed him and his little brother into their beautiful home. He decides to go along with Yaya on her long and perilous journey. But before he can do anything, he must escape from the clutches of Zhu, who runs a gang of homeless boys. When Zhu learns that Tuduo's little protégée is from a very wealthy family, he comes up with a Machiavellian plot to kidnap her and collect a ransom. Tuduo and Yaya barely manage to get away and head off for the south. But Zhu, a heartless outlaw, doesn't give up so easily and comes after them, driven by his high hopes of cashing in on the ransom scheme. This nine-volume series chronicles their long journey fraught with perils. The children meet all sorts of people, both friendly and wicked, as they travel toward Hong Kong. Yaya and Tuduo are different in every way: social background, character, dreams, and desires. These children learn many growing lessons along the way, not the least of which is to judge a person on their character, not their social or financial status. The gloom of war, its absurd tragedy, gives way to the incredible capacity of youth to overwhelm grim reality. Imagination is the only thing these children have to defend themselves against adults who are like the ogres, evil fairies, or good witches of bedtime tales. Their imagination gives the story a touch of poetry, while humor brings a lighter touch to a story that is steeped in genuine historical tragedy.
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$9.99
Despite the bombings that ravage the streets of Shanghai, young Yaya and Tuduo find themselves in the clutches of the infamous gangster Zhu. Tuduo is already quite familiar with Zhu's criminal business intentions, having run the streets for quite some time before the war began, but now he's held prisoner and forced to loot the many deserted homes in the city's upscale neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Yaya is forced to do housework around the criminal's lair, including cleaning a room filled with captive snakes! As scary as that may be, however, her uncanny ability to talk to animals helps turn things around. But when Yaya's former nanny finds them, Zhu realizes this little rich girl could be his ticket to the fortune of a lifetime. Even as Yaya, Tuduo, and the nanny escape Zhu's clutches, their adventure is only just beginning . . .  This second book in the adventures of Yaya continues the exciting formula launched by the first volume: two adorable kids chased by a wicked villain, a small animal with extraordinary capabilities, and a desperate war raging in the background. Artist Golo Zhao is particularly at home in this landscape format of large, beautifully colored panels in which Yaya and Tuduo's innocence contrasts with the chaos of the setting.  The story may be simple and intended primarily for young readers, but it has a vivacity and energy that will thrill audiences of all ages.
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