Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Everyone assumes that because he's Chinese, Jon Wong must be good at math and science and a first-class nerd. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to shake the stereotypes.
After a kung fu action movie, Jon and his best buddy pretend to be martial-arts warriors. Word soon spreads that Jon is a kung fu master, and the kids begin to treat him differently. Rather than correct the mistake, Jon plays up the role and basks in the positive attention from his classmates. But when the school bully challenges him to prove his skills, Jon must figure out a way to somehow keep his status as the cool kid. Without getting pulverized.
About the author
Raised in Morinvilleâ”a small town north of Edmonton, Albertaâ”Marty Chan is a playwright, radio writer, television story editor, and young adult author. Marty graduated from the University of Alberta in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (English major/drama minor). He fell into improv comedy when he joined Edmonton Theatresports, but his paralyzing stage fright resulted in ”penguin arm“ acting, forcing him to abandon performing and take up writing. His signature play, Mom, Dad, I’m Living With A White Girl, has been produced across Canada, published three times, and broadcast as a radio drama. The stage play won an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Best New Work and the Adams Chinese Theatre Award at Harvard University. In October 2004, the play had a successful Off Broadway run in New York. Marty was a regular contributor to CBC Radio Edmonton from 1994 to 2000. His weekly commentary series, ”The Dim Sum Diaries,“ recounted his misadventures as the only Chinese kid in a small prairie town. These weekly commentaries were adapted into a half-hour television program (The Orange Seed Myth) which won a Gold Medal for Best Television Pilot at the Charleston World Film and Television Festival, and earned Marty a Gemini nomination for best writing in a children’s program. In 2004, Thistledown Press launched Marty’s first young adult novel, The Mystery of the Frozen Brains, which has become a hit with young readers across Canada. Resource Links magazine rated listed it as one of the Best Books of 2004 for grades 3 to 6. Marty was the first playwright in residence at the Citadel Theatre. He also served as the chair of the Edmonton Arts Council and taught playwriting at the U of A. He received an Arts Achievement Award and a Performance Award from the City of Edmonton. He also earned a Horizon Award from the university for his contributions to theatre. Currently, Marty resides in Edmonton with his wife Michelle and their two cats, Buddy and Max.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
- Commended, TD Summer Reading List
“Brings to life the real stereotypes that some people place on other ethnic groups…A very good book for a school library.”
Must Read Literature: K thru YA
“Chan’s engaging story will teach children a valuable lesson in humility, the acceptance of one’s own limitations, and the importance of valuing oneself.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials