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Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit

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After inheriting a grieving fox spirit, a Chinese American boy must learn to embrace his heritage to solve the mystery of his brother's death in Jesse Q Sutanto's magical, action-packed middle grade fantasy, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. Theo Tan doesn't want a spirit companion. He just wants to be a normal American kid, playing video games, going to conventions, and using c After inheriting a grieving fox spirit, a Chinese American boy must learn to embrace his heritage to solve the mystery of his brother's death in Jesse Q Sutanto's magical, action-packed middle grade fantasy, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. Theo Tan doesn't want a spirit companion. He just wants to be a normal American kid, playing video games, going to conventions, and using cirth pendants to cast his spells like everyone else. But, when his older brother dies, Theo ends up inheriting Jamie's fox spirit, Kai. Kai isn't happy about this either. Theo is nothing like Jamie, and the two of them have never gotten along. But, when they realize the mysterious journal Jamie left Theo is filled with clues and secret codes, it's clear that something strange was going on with Jamie's internship at Reapling Corp. But the only way onto the campus is the highly competitive "Know Your Roots" summer camp program, a celebration of Chinese and Indian cultures designed to help connect students with their heritage. Theo and Kai will have to put aside their differences long enough to honor Jamie's last wishes, or the mystery he died for will remain unsolved forever...


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After inheriting a grieving fox spirit, a Chinese American boy must learn to embrace his heritage to solve the mystery of his brother's death in Jesse Q Sutanto's magical, action-packed middle grade fantasy, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. Theo Tan doesn't want a spirit companion. He just wants to be a normal American kid, playing video games, going to conventions, and using c After inheriting a grieving fox spirit, a Chinese American boy must learn to embrace his heritage to solve the mystery of his brother's death in Jesse Q Sutanto's magical, action-packed middle grade fantasy, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. Theo Tan doesn't want a spirit companion. He just wants to be a normal American kid, playing video games, going to conventions, and using cirth pendants to cast his spells like everyone else. But, when his older brother dies, Theo ends up inheriting Jamie's fox spirit, Kai. Kai isn't happy about this either. Theo is nothing like Jamie, and the two of them have never gotten along. But, when they realize the mysterious journal Jamie left Theo is filled with clues and secret codes, it's clear that something strange was going on with Jamie's internship at Reapling Corp. But the only way onto the campus is the highly competitive "Know Your Roots" summer camp program, a celebration of Chinese and Indian cultures designed to help connect students with their heritage. Theo and Kai will have to put aside their differences long enough to honor Jamie's last wishes, or the mystery he died for will remain unsolved forever...

30 review for Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    I think I will just read anything Jesse Q. Sutanto writes. This book does so many things, and it never feels like too much. It's this interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy - set in the future, magic has replaced technology - with a very interesting magic system. It's a story about a boy who loses his brother and wants to find out what happened to him. It's a story about having a fraught relationship with your heritage and learning to be proud of it. And it's also a wonderful story about a boy a I think I will just read anything Jesse Q. Sutanto writes. This book does so many things, and it never feels like too much. It's this interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy - set in the future, magic has replaced technology - with a very interesting magic system. It's a story about a boy who loses his brother and wants to find out what happened to him. It's a story about having a fraught relationship with your heritage and learning to be proud of it. And it's also a wonderful story about a boy and his spirit companion, who initially hate each other, but who grow together through grief and going on an adventure. Especially the last part was really amazing to me. I've always been a huge fan of animal companions in books, especially if they talk. And Kai even has her own perspective in the book! She's so funny and I loved her so much! But really, what's not to love about this book?

  2. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    This middle-grade fantasy series features Theo, a Chinese-American boy in a world with magic spells instead of smartphones, trying to solve the mystery of his brother's death with the help (and hindrance) of a mystical fox named Kai. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram This middle-grade fantasy series features Theo, a Chinese-American boy in a world with magic spells instead of smartphones, trying to solve the mystery of his brother's death with the help (and hindrance) of a mystical fox named Kai. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    June 05, 2020: Chinese-American representation! This has a young boy, magic spells, a mystical fox, and a mystery to solve. Excited for this middle-grade fantasy that has just been announced AHHH. June 05, 2020: Chinese-American representation! This has a young boy, magic spells, a mystical fox, and a mystery to solve. Excited for this middle-grade fantasy that has just been announced AHHH.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I received an advance copy via NetGalley. This middle grade book follows 12-year-old Theo Tan and trickster fox spirit Kai. In a near-future San Francisco where magic works a lot like advanced tech, Theo is determined to be as American and not-Chinese as possible, which is in contrast to his idolized older brother Jamie. Kai is his brother’s companion spirit, and Theo’s rival for his brother’s affections. But when Jamie is killed in an accident, Theo and Kai must team up to discover what his brot I received an advance copy via NetGalley. This middle grade book follows 12-year-old Theo Tan and trickster fox spirit Kai. In a near-future San Francisco where magic works a lot like advanced tech, Theo is determined to be as American and not-Chinese as possible, which is in contrast to his idolized older brother Jamie. Kai is his brother’s companion spirit, and Theo’s rival for his brother’s affections. But when Jamie is killed in an accident, Theo and Kai must team up to discover what his brother’s job’s big top-secret cultural project is really about. I wasn’t sure about this book at first but it really grew on me. The two perspectives are used well, as we can understand Theo’s point of view but through Kai’s eyes also understand Theo can be a real brat. I like that the book approached Chinese and Indian cultures from a different angle and brought a unique futuristic bent. The ending was action-packed and quite satisfying, and provides a direct lead into a sequel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    A smart and witty middle grade fantasy book steeped in Chinese mythology that features Theo, a Chinese American boy grieving the death of his older brother who gets tasked with completing the challenge his brother wasn't able to finish and figuring out why he died. Told in alternating POVs between Theo and his snarky spirit sidekick, Kai, I couldn't help getting invested in this story and look forward to where the series will go next! Perfect for fans of Zachary Ying and the dragon emperor or th A smart and witty middle grade fantasy book steeped in Chinese mythology that features Theo, a Chinese American boy grieving the death of his older brother who gets tasked with completing the challenge his brother wasn't able to finish and figuring out why he died. Told in alternating POVs between Theo and his snarky spirit sidekick, Kai, I couldn't help getting invested in this story and look forward to where the series will go next! Perfect for fans of Zachary Ying and the dragon emperor or the movie Turning Red. Great on audio with two narrators.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anxious Bibliophile Jacqueline

    This is a middle grade heroes journey adventure. You have Theo thrust into circumstances out of his control after the sudden and mysterious death of his brother Jamie. Then you have Kai a fox spirit who is grieving the loss of her master but called to be the spirit aide of her "enemy" Theo. Both mourning the loss of Jaime, they have to work together to overcome their differences and solve the mystery. The setting reminded me of a Chinese version of Big Hero 6. Charming hardworking older brother, This is a middle grade heroes journey adventure. You have Theo thrust into circumstances out of his control after the sudden and mysterious death of his brother Jamie. Then you have Kai a fox spirit who is grieving the loss of her master but called to be the spirit aide of her "enemy" Theo. Both mourning the loss of Jaime, they have to work together to overcome their differences and solve the mystery. The setting reminded me of a Chinese version of Big Hero 6. Charming hardworking older brother, angry younger brother, companion of the older brother left behind. As an adult it was hard to read how disrespectful Theo was of his parents and the background they come from at the beginning of the book. Putting my head into the perspective of Theo though I get it. To be "American" is to assimilate and to be a child is to want to blend in instead of celebrating what makes you stand out. I'm sure this will be well loved by the target audience. The voice throughout is very juvenile and I think will be relatable. I wish we had had more time with Jamie at the beginning so we could have more context for the initial reasons why Theo and Kai don't like each other. I'm happy to have been able to get an advanced copy of this book, and hope it finds itself in the hands of the perfect reader.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Lesperance

    I read this book to my nine-year-old son, and he absolutely loved it, as did I! It's fast-paced, heartfelt, hilarious, and so unique. After his older brother dies in a suspicious accident, Theo inherits his spirit companion, a two-tailed fox spirit named Kai. Theo starts to investigate his brother's death, and he discovers a "Know Your Roots" program that his brother was involved with, a camp-like place that aims to connect kids with their ancestral history and magic. Right off the bat, somethin I read this book to my nine-year-old son, and he absolutely loved it, as did I! It's fast-paced, heartfelt, hilarious, and so unique. After his older brother dies in a suspicious accident, Theo inherits his spirit companion, a two-tailed fox spirit named Kai. Theo starts to investigate his brother's death, and he discovers a "Know Your Roots" program that his brother was involved with, a camp-like place that aims to connect kids with their ancestral history and magic. Right off the bat, something isn't quite right, and Theo has to learn how to channel his inner magic to unravel the mystery and figure out what happened to his brother. In addition to the lush worldbuilding and creative magic system, the thing I loved most about this book is how much heart is in it. Theo and Kai struggle with each other at first, having both felt jealous of each other when Theo's brother was alive, but they learn to love and trust each other as the book goes on. Theo grows so much as a person, and is full of so much earnestness and deep love for his family, it's impossible not to root for him. And Kai is so absolutely hilarious, my son and I spent a lot of time laughing, even when we were on the edges of our seats wondering what was going to happen. This book is perfect for a read-aloud, and also great for kids (and adults) who love modern-day fantasy with fun and unique magic systems, immersive cultural themes, and strong family bonds.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    I don't how to express how satisfied I am by this book. It does for me in every single way. I had forgotten what an appealing fantasy middle grade story was for me. I honestly think that it might have things that people in general may dislike, but I am so happy. I love the fact that the whole concept was tied to the same roots and it didn't need to explore many different routes that would serve the plot - a common thing to have in middle grade fantasy is the constant exposition of many characters I don't how to express how satisfied I am by this book. It does for me in every single way. I had forgotten what an appealing fantasy middle grade story was for me. I honestly think that it might have things that people in general may dislike, but I am so happy. I love the fact that the whole concept was tied to the same roots and it didn't need to explore many different routes that would serve the plot - a common thing to have in middle grade fantasy is the constant exposition of many characters that are going to be useful to the MC's quest and then they remain forgotten. But this one doesn't follow that and that makes so happy. ❤️🦊

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katie Mac

    I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a funny but often heartbreaking middle-grade fantasy novel about ancient Indo-Chinese spirits and what it means to be part of the Asian diaspora. The story is slow in parts, but Sutanto delves into the grief and emotional rendering that take place with the death of a family members. I also appreciated how sarcastic Kai--the fox spirit--is and how her relationship with Theo develops. The sens I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a funny but often heartbreaking middle-grade fantasy novel about ancient Indo-Chinese spirits and what it means to be part of the Asian diaspora. The story is slow in parts, but Sutanto delves into the grief and emotional rendering that take place with the death of a family members. I also appreciated how sarcastic Kai--the fox spirit--is and how her relationship with Theo develops. The sense of adventure is prevalent throughout even in the more passive parts of the plotline and will engage readers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    JoyAnn

    This book felt both familiar and completely original, which I loved. Kai and Theo were both instantly likable & occasionally exasperating, and as they become closer, they also become more loved by the reader. I appreciated how the author tried to differentiate between the two narration styles. I wish some side characters got to reveal a bit more depth or have a bit more page time. A really enjoyable and mysterious adventure that I hope will have a sequel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kenneth - PerfectionistWannabe.com

    IDK if Jesse will read this, but I hope she does. I finished reading this book a week before it's publication date. It was such a wonderful story and I couldn't wait to begin the next book. But then I read the author's note and this book took on a whole new meaning to me. It almost left me in tears, because of what the author had to go through just to have this amazing book come to life. Jesse received a lot of rejection letters for Theo Tan. She almost gave up writing, because of those rejection IDK if Jesse will read this, but I hope she does. I finished reading this book a week before it's publication date. It was such a wonderful story and I couldn't wait to begin the next book. But then I read the author's note and this book took on a whole new meaning to me. It almost left me in tears, because of what the author had to go through just to have this amazing book come to life. Jesse received a lot of rejection letters for Theo Tan. She almost gave up writing, because of those rejections. Can you imagine a world without "Dial A for Aunties" or "Four Aunties and a Wedding"? I mean...I'll never look at eggplant the same again without laughing hysterically at remembering Meddy's mom's love for eggplant. (If you know, you know). A world without Jesse's brilliant work, all because of Theo Tan, just doesn't seem like such a great world to be in. That's how much Theo Tan means to Jesse. One thing I learned at HarperCollins is that it takes a village to write a book. People have this misnomer that the work is purely the author. No. There are many people involved with bringing a book to life, and what the Theo Tan team brought to life was an incredible new series for middle grade readers. In the beginning, just getting that team, that was Jesse's first challenge. She kept working on Theo to make it salable. And then she took comments from different people who told her to keep working on it, and she kept going. There were a lot of people that helped Theo get published. For me, as the reader, I'm thankful they helped, because the end result was amazing. So whatever journey Theo had to go on before he could be put into the hands of the reader, it was an incredible journey, because they helped create something that readers will love. For writers out there, there is a bigger lesson in this. Just because you face a lot of rejection over a project that means so much to you, it doesn't mean this is the end. It does not mean give up. It just means to keep working, this idea can be better. It can be more incredible. Just believe in yourself. Keep improving. You're gonna make it, just keep going, because we are not perfect creatures. We always need to improve and improve and improve to make ourselves better. In Theo Tan's case, he needed some time to get to that stage of perfection, and a little help from some friends. The writing journey is not meant to go at alone. Theo Tan means a lot to Jesse. You can see that love for Theo all throughout the book. I think what the Theo Tan team created was something incredible. This is a series I will continue to follow, like all of Jesse's other books. I may have a soft spot for Meddy and her aunties, but Theo Tan...he's the superhero. The Asian American superhero I needed. Everything Theo Tan went through to get to this end result, I believe it was needed, because it created something amazing. I don't think he could have gotten there without those bumps along the way. He needed to grow into becoming this hero. If you love Rick Riordan and Rick Riordan Presents, you'll love Theo Tan. The book had some elements of Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee and Champion's Quest by Frank L. Cole (both books I recommend, as well).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    It’s hard to read a book like Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit and not immediately draw comparisons to 2021’s middle grade standout Amari and the Night Brothers. Both target the same age demographic in the fantasy genre, both feature a protagonist on the hunt for information about their golden child older sibling's recent death, and both explore themes of isolation and otherness in a world that does not want to embrace their identity. Theo Tan more specifically looks at this in the context of a blend It’s hard to read a book like Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit and not immediately draw comparisons to 2021’s middle grade standout Amari and the Night Brothers. Both target the same age demographic in the fantasy genre, both feature a protagonist on the hunt for information about their golden child older sibling's recent death, and both explore themes of isolation and otherness in a world that does not want to embrace their identity. Theo Tan more specifically looks at this in the context of a blended Chinese-American culture, not unlike another recent middle grade fantasy Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor. Unfortunately, Theo Tan slightly misses the mark for me where these two other efforts in the genre delivered in full. I won’t pretend I can speak to the accuracy of the Asian-American diaspora explored here, or how it will resonate with its target audience. But coming to this purely as work of middle grade fantasy, Theo Tan falls a little flat. The story itself was oddly passive, with things more so happening to Theo than by any action on his part. He’s swept into this world of magic and unexplored history but he spends most of the novel actively rejecting all of it. Which is part of his character’s arc, but makes the plot progression feel stilted and the final escalation rushed. So as much as I am glad stories that blend these kind of real world issues with speculative fiction for a younger age group are being published with greater frequency, I do think other works have blended this better. And with more effective character work. I wanted Theo and Kai’s dynamic to have a little more… energy I suppose. These are two people (creatures?) forced to work together solely because of their shared connection to Theo’s dead brother, which looms over the relationship like a gloomy raincloud for the entirety of the book. It makes their banter a little dry, and even by the end of the novel I was never fully convinced that they learned to function as friends instead of reluctant acquaintances. Don’t get me wrong - I think they’re fully realized characters with their own ticks and nuance. And Kai especially was refreshing to read from with her endless quips. I just wasn’t sold on their story arc together. And the remainder of the characters are the very definition of just barely there enough to move the plot along. I don’t want to give the impression that love and lived experiences weren’t carefully constructed in this book, if Sutanto’s author’s note is anything to go by. But I can’t help but compare this middle grade fantasy debut to other books that have also recently been released in the genre and find it falling more towards the middle of the pack, rather than a front runner. Thank you to the publisher Feiwel & Friends for providing an e-ARC via NetGalley for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth Mendelsohn

    Thank you to Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Theo Tan just wants to be an American boy. After getting teased and bullied in school for speaking Chinese, Theo no longer speaks it. He just wants to play his video games, go to ThunderCon, and cast his spells using his cirth pendant (his power source for spells) like his peers. He is not interested in anything about his culture, including his brother Jamie’s fox spirit, Kai. Whe Thank you to Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Theo Tan just wants to be an American boy. After getting teased and bullied in school for speaking Chinese, Theo no longer speaks it. He just wants to play his video games, go to ThunderCon, and cast his spells using his cirth pendant (his power source for spells) like his peers. He is not interested in anything about his culture, including his brother Jamie’s fox spirit, Kai. When Jamie dies suddenly, Theo inherits Kai, to the dismay of both of them. But when Theo find a secret coded journal that Jamie left behind for him, Theo and Kai enroll at the Reapling Corp. summer program where Jamie was doing his internship. Using the journal, Theo and Kai find that something strange is definitely going on there, and potentially dangerous. Kai has the ability to shape-shift, something that Theo takes advantage of in his training. Will Theo and Kai be able to put aside their disdain for each other long enough to figure out what Jamie wanted them to do before it’s too late? It was nice to see a Chinese-American boy as the main character. Although this book is mostly fantasy, especially when dealing with the companion spirits and spells, there is also a sci-fi part to it. Theo can come off as a bit of a brat, not wanting to do the minimum asked of him. He does realize his potential as the story progresses. Not as fast-paced as some other mythology/heroes middle grade books but enjoyable nonetheless. I give it 4 stars and would recommend it for grades 4 and up. #TheoTanAndTheFoxSpirit #Feiwel&Friends #NetGalley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Set in San Francisco, California, at a time when money can buy magic, flying cars, and flying shoes, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit asks what does it cost to have those luxuries. First generation Chinese-American Theo has spent his childhood eschewing as many aspects of his Chinese culture as possible, but when tragedy strikes his family, Theo and–formerly his brother’s, now his–companion fox spirit Kai are thrust into a quest that will delve into aspects of their culture, identity, and ancestry an Set in San Francisco, California, at a time when money can buy magic, flying cars, and flying shoes, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit asks what does it cost to have those luxuries. First generation Chinese-American Theo has spent his childhood eschewing as many aspects of his Chinese culture as possible, but when tragedy strikes his family, Theo and–formerly his brother’s, now his–companion fox spirit Kai are thrust into a quest that will delve into aspects of their culture, identity, and ancestry and will raise questions about what actions are ethical and moral. The book was a bit slow-going for me at first as I came up-to-speed with Theo’s world, but once I hit the point where he and Kai are accepted into the Know Your Roots program at Reapling in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), things took off. I enjoyed watching the bond grow between Theo and Kai, the struggles they undertook together, and their friendship with Namita. I liked seeing Theo find his courage and his inner magic (qì) The story is a nice mix of heavier themes and humor. This would be a good book for parents and elementary schoolers to read together. Told in the alternating points-of-view of 12-year-old Theo and snarky, shape-changing Kai, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit takes you on an adventure vacillating between an America run on commoditized magic and the Chinese spirit worlds of other realms. You even visit the gates of hell. Content warnings: death of a sibling, violence, greed, depictions of demons, versions of hell I received an advance ebook copy from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

    Theo Tan has always felt like an outsider. His brother is super smart and the overachiever. He doesn't have as much money as other kids at his school. Meaning he doesn't have as much money to purchase cirth like other kids in his school.. He really doesn't want a companion spirit, let alone one as lame as a goldfish. All Theo wants to feel like is a normal kid. One who can be seen as your standard everyday American. Yet when his brother dies and leaves behind clues that indicate that his death w Theo Tan has always felt like an outsider. His brother is super smart and the overachiever. He doesn't have as much money as other kids at his school. Meaning he doesn't have as much money to purchase cirth like other kids in his school.. He really doesn't want a companion spirit, let alone one as lame as a goldfish. All Theo wants to feel like is a normal kid. One who can be seen as your standard everyday American. Yet when his brother dies and leaves behind clues that indicate that his death was anything but ordinary, Theo is swept up in an adventure to find out what really happened. With the reluctant help of his brothers companion spirit, Kia. Theo applies to the Find Your Roots program. There they find out that connecting with children's roots is one of the last things they have in mind for the students involved. Will Theo and Kai be able to find out what is really happening before all heck is broken lose? Can Kia and Theo build a bond like the one Kia had with Theo's brother? This is a super fast paced book. It is very easy to pick up and really so well written that it is kind of hard to put down. I am very excited to see what adventure Kia and Theo go on next. Kids will be swept away by this tale and I am so very excited to recommend it. Thank you so very much to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Just Leandro

    Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit, Jesse Q. Sutanto's middle grade debut. Not long after Theo Tan, a Chinese American 12 year old boy learns of his brother Jaime's sudden death in a car accident, he inherits his brother's former companion fox spirit, Kai. Theo and Kai never really got along while Jamie was alive, but they'll have to put away their differences as they go on an adventure to solve the mystery of Jamie's death. I have read all of the author's other books Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit, Jesse Q. Sutanto's middle grade debut. Not long after Theo Tan, a Chinese American 12 year old boy learns of his brother Jaime's sudden death in a car accident, he inherits his brother's former companion fox spirit, Kai. Theo and Kai never really got along while Jamie was alive, but they'll have to put away their differences as they go on an adventure to solve the mystery of Jamie's death. I have read all of the author's other books and loved each one of them, and I can say this one didn't disappoint me, as I really enjoyed it from the very first page to the last one. I loved the world the story is set in and the way in which magic is a very important part of it. I also loved the characters and the way they develop as they come across many challenges throughout the story. I particularly liked Kai's sense of humor, and her hilarious commentaries about humans. I can't wait to read the next book in this duology! If you like middle grade fantasy and stories about cultural heritage, you will absolutely love this book. I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Just Leandro

    Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit, Jesse Q. Sutanto's middle grade debut. Not long after Theo Tan, a Chinese American 12 year old boy learns of his brother Jaime's sudden death in a car accident, he inherits his brother's former companion fox spirit, Kai. Theo and Kai never really got along while Jamie was alive, but they'll have to put away their differences as they go on an adventure to solve the mystery of Jamie's death. I have read all of the author's other books Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit, Jesse Q. Sutanto's middle grade debut. Not long after Theo Tan, a Chinese American 12 year old boy learns of his brother Jaime's sudden death in a car accident, he inherits his brother's former companion fox spirit, Kai. Theo and Kai never really got along while Jamie was alive, but they'll have to put away their differences as they go on an adventure to solve the mystery of Jamie's death. I have read all of the author's other books and loved each one of them, and I can say this one didn't disappoint me, as I really enjoyed it from the very first page to the last one. I loved the world the story is set in and the way in which magic is a very important part of it. I also loved the characters and the way they develop as they come across many challenges throughout the story. I particularly liked Kai's sense of humor, and her hilarious commentaries about humans. I can't wait to read the next book in this duology! If you like middle grade fantasy and stories about cultural heritage, you will absolutely love this book. I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennie Seaman

    Theo Tan is still reeling from his brother's death. When he goes through the ceremony to get his magical companion, he ends up with his brother's fox spirit. Theo applies to go to a summer program that his brother had also gone to. Through this program, Theo gets closer to his family's history while also learning new things about his brother. Something seems strange, though. I felt like this book was just okay. I didn't really connect with it as much as I wanted to. I loved the concept of a magi Theo Tan is still reeling from his brother's death. When he goes through the ceremony to get his magical companion, he ends up with his brother's fox spirit. Theo applies to go to a summer program that his brother had also gone to. Through this program, Theo gets closer to his family's history while also learning new things about his brother. Something seems strange, though. I felt like this book was just okay. I didn't really connect with it as much as I wanted to. I loved the concept of a magical school. I loved the concept of magical companions. I just didn't feel connected to the characters. I also felt like Kai was just making everything worse for Theo, not helping. She was really self-centered and caused a lot of issues. This seemed really close to family betrayal which is a trigger for me. I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with the series. But it was a good read and I think all the problems I had were personal to me. *eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy in return for an honest review. An excellent middle grade magic story with strong themes of friendship, but I also liked the underlying theme about embracing who you are, including the parts of your culture that you think others won't like. I liked the relationship between Theo and Kai and the Chinese representation in the story. There were a couple of unexpected twists and I always like it when I can be surprised when I read books :) De With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy in return for an honest review. An excellent middle grade magic story with strong themes of friendship, but I also liked the underlying theme about embracing who you are, including the parts of your culture that you think others won't like. I liked the relationship between Theo and Kai and the Chinese representation in the story. There were a couple of unexpected twists and I always like it when I can be surprised when I read books :) Definitely one I'll be adding to my classroom.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus This looks to be the first in a two book series. Similar to Rick Riordan Presents titles; lots of action and adventure, in a magical society, with a main character who reluctantly has to save the world. (Well, not the whole world, but definitely has a hero's quest feel.) E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus This looks to be the first in a two book series. Similar to Rick Riordan Presents titles; lots of action and adventure, in a magical society, with a main character who reluctantly has to save the world. (Well, not the whole world, but definitely has a hero's quest feel.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I really enjoyed this one! I love the characters and felt their pain. The story had excitement and mystery. I'm looking forward to the next adventure with Theo and Kai! I really enjoyed this one! I love the characters and felt their pain. The story had excitement and mystery. I'm looking forward to the next adventure with Theo and Kai!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen Nishi

    Good book! Gentle but well thought out and wonderfully written commentary on accepting your ancestry, loss and grief.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Reign _ Awakening

    This book reminded me a lot of, "The Dragon Pearl." This book reminded me a lot of, "The Dragon Pearl."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    Please this was so good

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mellen

    Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s for the ARC of this! Absolutely adorable, this was heart breaking and full of action and culture. The magic system was really interesting, Kai was the coolest companion, and I loved seeing her deal with what happens when you do bad things for what feels like a good reason. This is another one for fans of Aru Shah and Percy Jackson, with mythology, family, and a shapeshifting companion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Đức Nhật

    23/08/2021: The cover is beautiful I'm crying 23/08/2021: The cover is beautiful I'm crying

  27. 4 out of 5

    China

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben Lanphear

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

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