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Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010

‘The Five Ancestors’ at Next Chapter Bookshop

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History inspires great fiction, and tales of young heroes who succeed against insurmountable odds often top best-seller lists. In the collection The Five Ancestors, history and heroism come together in seven captivating young adult novels by Jeff Stone. Set in 17th-century China, these legends bring to life a very real and interesting period of world history in a narrative style that is exciting for readers of all ages. This adventure series follows five young monks, each of whom specializes in a different style of “animal” kung fu.

Random House Books for Young Readers released the concluding volume, Dragon, earlier this month. Since each story in The Five Ancestors is told from the viewpoint of the main character, Dragon follows Long, a dragon-style warrior, to the Forbidden City as he tries to save China and rescue the emperor. In the closing volume of The Five Ancestors series, Stone weaves a fast-paced, intelligent plot filled with enough action and suspense to captivate young and old alike.

Stone has much in common with the characters he created. Like his protagonists, Stone is a martial artist. He holds a black belt in kung fu and trains in other fighting styles as research for his books. Furthermore, like the five warriors in this collection, Stone was adopted as an infant. He grew up in Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in English and journalism. The Five Ancestors books have sold more than 400,000 copies, and Nickelodeon Movies has signed the series to a two-film deal.

The Five Ancestors saga is a classic tale of heroes rising from ruin. These five young kung fu masters—Dragon, Crane, Snake, Monkey and Tiger—struggle to uncover the secrets of their pasts as they fight for the future of their homeland.

Jeff Stone will visit Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon to discuss his newest book, Dragon, on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m.