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  • The Five Ancestors Book 1: Tiger
  • Written by Jeff Stone
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  • The Five Ancestors Book 1: Tiger
  • Written by Jeff Stone
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  • Format: Unabridged Audiobook Download | ISBN: 9781400098835
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On Sale: February 10, 2009
Pages: 208 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89179-3
Published by : Random House Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books

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On Sale: March 22, 2005
ISBN: 978-1-4000-9883-5
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martial arts (13) china (11) fiction (10) adventure (9) fantasy (9) monks (5) kung fu (5) young adult (4) children (4)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Fu and his temple brothers Malao, Seh, Hok, and Long don’t know who their parents were. Raised from infancy by their grandmaster, they think of their temple as their home and their fellow warrior monks—their “temple brothers”—as their family. Then one terrible night, the temple is destroyed. Fu and his brothers are the only survivors. Charged by their grandmaster to uncover the secrets of their past, the five flee into the countryside and go their separate ways. Book #1 follows Fu as he struggles to find out more and prove himself in the process.

Excerpt

“This is stupid,” Fu mumbled from the bottom of the terra-cotta barrel. “How long do we have to stay inside this thing? I feel like a pickled vegetable.”

“Shhh!” warned his brother Malao, lying directly on top of him. “Grandmaster told us to remain perfectly quiet, and perfectly still.”

“I know what Grandmaster said,” Fu replied. “But we can’t stay crammed in here forever. I say we get out right now. I say we stop hiding and fight!”

“Calm yourself, Fu,” whispered his brother Seh from on top of Malao. “We are all just as cramped and uncomfortable as you are. But we must do as Grandmaster said and remain silent and hidden. The enemy within our walls is unlike any faced by Cangzhen Temple in more than a thousand years.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Fu said. “Stop being so dramatic. You guys are sounding more and more like Grandmaster every day. I don’t care who’s out there. We’re all masters now. We’ve all passed the tests. We shouldn’t be hiding like a bunch of girls. We should be—”

“Hush!” snapped Fu’s brother Hok, who was lying on top of Seh. “That’s enough, Fu! You’re making even me angry now.”

“I don’t care!” Fu replied. “If you think—”

“Quiet!” hissed Fu’s oldest brother, Long, from the top of the pile. “Control your tongues, all of you! Brother Fu, empty the words from your mouth and then empty your mind. You must take control of your thoughts and your emotions, or they will control you.”

You must take control of your thoughts and your emotions, or they will control you,” Fu mocked. “Give me a break, Long. Right now we need action, not philosophy.”

Fu was quickly losing his patience. He could hear enemy horses racing up and down the brick pathways that crisscrossed the temple grounds. He also heard weapons clashing and men crying out—plus a terrible, new sound. It was almost like thunder, except every boom was followed by a pain-filled scream. Fu’s keen ears recognized each and every scream. Warrior monks were falling.

A low growl resonated deep within Fu’s chest. He didn’t understand why his four brothers, stacked above him in the barrel, were holding back. Like him, each had mastered a style of animal kung fu that reflected both his personality and his body type. In fact, their true natures were so perfectly matched with their kung fu styles that they were each named after the animal they mirrored. They were born to fight. But they wouldn’t.

Fu, the tiger, growled again. His brothers didn’t look like him, walk like him, talk like him, or even smell like him. And they certainly didn’t think like him. He called them “brothers” because they all were Buddhist and lived in the temple together. In reality, he and his “brothers” were orphans. What Fu needed were real brothers. Brothers who would fight alongside him.

Fu grunted under the weight of the others. “I can’t believe we are just going to—”

“Please!” Long interrupted. “No more talking! We all have to remain silent. Brother Fu, focus your breathing. Meditate like the rest of us have been doing. If you find that you cannot meditate, just lie still and relax.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” Fu replied. “You’re on top. Try lying down here at the bottom of the pile in a pool of water with Malao’s nasty feet pressing up against your lips.”

Malao giggled softly and wiggled his toes.

“If you do that again, Malao, I’ll bite them off one at a time,” Fu said. “I swear I will.”

Malao giggled again but kept his toes still.

How much longer am I going to be stuck in here? Fu wondered. He hoped for his brothers’ sake they would all get out of the barrel soon, because he wasn’t sure if he could control himself much longer.


From the Hardcover edition.
Jeff Stone

About Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone - The Five Ancestors Book 1: Tiger

Photo © Courtesy of the Author

Jeff Stone lives in the Midwest with his wife and two children and practices the martial arts daily. Though Mr. Stone isn't Chinese, his wife is. She’s from Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English fluently. They have two children, a daughter age 5 and a son age 3. Both children speak Cantonese and English. Mr. Stone thinks his English skills are pretty good, but his Cantonese still needs a lot of work.
Like the Five Ancestors, Mr. Stone was adopted as an infant. He began searching for his birth mother when he was eighteen and found her fifteen years later.
Mr. Stone has worked as a photographer, an editor, a maintenance man, a technical writer, a ballroom dance instructor, a concert promoter, and a marketing director for companies that design schools, libraries, and skateboard parks.
When he isn’t busy hiking, fishing, reading, playing sports, practicing martial arts, or traveling to Hong Kong with his wife and two children, Mr. Stone can usually be spotted writing at home.
Awards

Awards

SUBMITTED ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Reluctant Readers
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



ABOUT THIS BOOK

Grades 6 up
Filled with action and adventure and seeped in Chinese culture, this series is perfect for engaging young readers!

Twelve-year-old Fu and his temple brothers Malao, Seh, Hok, and Long don’t know who their parents are. Raised from infancy by their grandmaster, they think of their temple as their home and their fellow warrior monks–their temple brothers–as their family. Then one terrible night, the temple is destroyed. Fu and his brothers are the only survivors. Charged by their grandmaster to uncover the secrets of their past, the five flee into the countryside and go their separate ways. Book #1 follows Fu as he struggles to find out more and prove himself in the process.

TEACHING IDEAS

USING THE SERIES AS A WHOLE

KUNG FU—STYLE DOCUMENTARIES
In groups of three or four, have students research one of the animals–tiger, monkey, snake, crane, or eagle–in its natural habitat, exploring the following questions and more: What are the animal’s physical attributes and how does it move? What adaptations ensure its survival? What are its sleeping and feeding habits? Who are its natural enemies? Have students relate their research findings to the personalities and abilities of Fu, Malao, Seh, Hok, and Ying. How would one monk naturally get along with the other monks? Which monks would be natural enemies? How do their natural abilities help them in their kung fu styles? Next have the groups write and film a short video “documentary” explaining how the animal relates to the kung fu style of the monk. They will need to incorporate a variety of visual elements and sequences in their animal documentary and explain the role the animal plays in the young monk’s life that they chose to research. For example, the albino monkey in Malao’s life, the snake that attaches itself to Seh, the crane that helps Hok, and the tiger that stays in the distance for Fu. Students may follow the model of public television animal programs or may adapt the edgier tone of documentary programs such as The Crocodile Hunter.

CANGZHEN TEMPLE CHARACTER CHRONOLOGIES
Divide students into five groups and give each group one of the books in the Five Ancestors series. Ask each group to follow their character from the burning of the temple to the end of the series, making a list of each of the major stops along their journey, noting when possible the time lapse between moves the character makes, who he or she is traveling with, and the moves of the other characters. Then on a long piece of bulletin-board paper have each group first write their character’s events on a time line, and then illustrate in color each event along the time line, making a mural that shows the travels and experiences of all five of the monks after the temple burned. When the time line is complete, students will be able to see where the lives of each brother and their sister have intersected on the journey to their destiny.

A FINE LINE: TRACING THE LINEAGE OF THE FIVE ANCESTORS
A family tree traces the background of a family to its origins. Starting at the bottom of the tree, ask each pair of students to write the names of each of the five monks, and on the same horizontal level write the names of their brothers and sisters. Just above the monks and their siblings, students should write the names of their parents (fathers and mothers) using both the animal name and the Cantonese name of everyone in the tree. If additional explanations are needed about any of the relationships, ask students to write the explanations on a side bar and identify the additional explanations with numbers correlating to each monk. Two generations of Cantonese monks has made for a strong family tree. Ask students to write on one side of the tree a brief explanation of how each of the five young monks came to be at the Cangzhen Temple.

DISCUSSION AND WRITING

LOYALTY–The five brothers are fiercely loyal to each other and their grandmaster. How is loyalty of this degree achieved? Is it due to specific actions of the grandmaster? Or is it a result of the character of each brother? Ask students if they have ever been in a situation where their loyalty was tested. Who are they loyal to and why?

TRUST–Tonglong, a soldier of Ying’s, says, “If you do not trust people, you make them untrustworthy.” (p. 125) What does he mean by this statement? How does it apply to Ying and his situation? In what situation does Fu not trust, and what does it cost him? How could you apply this statement to your own life?

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

SOCIAL STUDIES–The Chinese calendar differs markedly from the Western calendar. Ask students to investigate and record facts of interest regarding the history of and legend behind the Chinese calendar. Then, in small groups, have students design and illustrate a Chinese calendar to display in the classroom. Tiger takes place in AD 1650, the Year of the Tiger. Have students research the “animal year” in which they were born and the history of that year. Tiger is set in the 17th century in Henan Province, China. Ask students to locate Henan Province and research the history of the area. Have students record their findings on “ancient” scrolls to be displayed in the classroom. Use them as a catalyst to discuss how novelists use research to weave fact with fiction in historical novels.

LANGUAGE ARTS–Have students form groups and write a collaborative narrative focusing on 17th-century China, weaving this fiction with facts from the “ancient” scrolls they made above. Students should include a historical setting, well-developed characters appropriate to the time period, a timely problem/conflict, plot complications, and a resolution to the problem or conflict. Have students share their historical narratives with the class.

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Jeff Stone discusses the Five Ancestors on Classroom Cast

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