Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 11 to 15
- Grade: 6 to 9
- Reading age: 12 to 14
Born in China, Nicki was abandoned to an orphanage before being adopted by a wealthy North American family. Now 16, Nicki divides her time between Hawaii and Ontario and is all set to train with a king fu grand master. When she reports to his studio, she finds him stabbed and near death. As he lapses into a coma, he begs her to find a priceless Ming dynasty vase that she discovers has once belonged to Pu Yi, the Boy Emperor. Part detective story, part spy thriller, the novel takes place over seven days of danger and deception as Nicki relies on her wits and her martial arts training to uncover the criminal mastermind behind the plot to steal the vase. Along the way, she begins to wonder about the mystery of her own past and the family she left behind in China.
About the author
Caroline Stellings is an author and illustrator of children’s books from Waterdown, Ontario. She is a professional artist who loves to paint the many birds and animals that inhabit the wetland area near her studio. Her previous books include The Malagawatch Mice and the Church that Sailed (CBU Press), Skippers Save the Stone, a children’s book in English and Gaelic, also from CBU Press, and Skippers At Cape Spear (Breakwater Books).
- Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Best Books for Kids and Teens", 2013 Spring Edition
The series’ strength lies in Nicki’s character...Nicki is much more than a modern-day Nancy Drew; she is a strong, independent young woman.
Library Media Connection
I really liked the story. Nicki was such a fun character to be around...She was smart, whimsical, and kick-butt.
One A Day Y.A - Blog
The Scratch on the Ming Vase is especially great for the younger YA crowd. This one is all about the action and mystery surrounding the missing Ming vase.
One A Day Y.A - Blog
For someone who has read many mystery stories, I found this book one of the best mystery stories I’ve ever read.
I think that The Scratch on the Ming Vase is a promising start for a good series
The National Post
The Scratch on the Ming Vase is a real page-turner...it's all good fun and readers will love it. Enjoy!
Other titles by Caroline Stellings
The Great Cookie War
Freedom's Just Another Word
The Secret of the Golden Flower