Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
Years ago a YA author told me that the only difference between good YA and adult fiction is the length of the story. Again and again, I find that to be the case. This book is intended for 5-8 year old kids, but know what? I completely enjoyed it.
Set before the movie takes place, it tells the story of Mulan finally getting to go to school. (Girls in China didn't attend school in this period.) Unfortunately "school" is just classes with the village matchmaker, so they can learn skills to take care of their husbands...
There was actually a plot element that completely surprised me, which so rarely happens in books.
While this book had two things I didn't like, the author can't be faulted for either:
1) It was way too short! It took me just over an hour to read. (But since it was for such young readers, it makes sense it was short.)
2) I'm getting more and more depressed at reading stories about women being second class citizens. Yeah, for a long time girls couldn't go to school at all, but it's still depressing as hell to read about that. Not at all the book's or the author's fault, it just made me really sad.
Those two issues aside, this was a really good book. The writing was great, the inside illustrations really made the story shine. Recommended for adult or child readers.