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...
"Heart-felt and heart-pounding, this book will have you cheering Theo on as he sets out to find the magic of his heritage! (Both figurative and literal!)" -- Xiran Jay Zhao, author of the #1 NYT Bestseller Iron Widow
"Wildly imaginative, laugh-out-loud funny, and full of heart, Theo Tan is an absolute delight. I didn't want it to end!" --Nicole Lesperance, author of The Nightmare Thief and The Wide Starlight
"Brimming with imagination, heart, and delicious humor, Theo Tan is utterly unputdownable. It deals with serious and meaningful lessons like overcoming grief and rediscovering one's roots, but ultimately, it's a story about how magic lives in all of us - if we only let it shine. A total must-read! (Also, if anyone has contacts for summoning a fox spirit companion, hook me up...)" -- Graci Kim, author of The Last Fallen Star
"A page-turning story about a magical and daring quest full of sparkling humor! I especially loved Theo’s sarcastic and funny fox spirit companion who isn’t thrilled to be paired with Theo, but along the way, the two learn that teamwork is necessary to defeat evil. I was rooting for a reluctant Theo to connect to his Chinese heritage so that he could experience the full power of his magic!" -- Debbi Michiko Florence, author of Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai
"Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit is brimming with wonder, heart, adventure, and enchantment. I couldn’t put it down! Theo’s journey of self-discovery is full of spirit, hope, and important lessons for us all. Sutanto’s unique magic system blends enchantment with modern technology, creating a fresh and vibrant version of our world that you’ll never want to leave. This is middle grade fantasy at its finest." --Alex Aster, award-winning author of the Emblem Island series
"Sutanto blends Chinese culture and history to build a world of dragons, demons, spell casting, and code breaking.... This is a natural choice for kids who like Rick Riordan's brand of mythology-fueled fantasy adventures, and it will be an especially good read-alike for Laurence Yep’s classic Tiger’s Apprentice series." -- Booklist
" Kai, the wily fox spirit, is a star, all sass and blustery confidence covering up her shattered heart, bereft of her human companion. Her shapeshifting is a boon to their quest, and it carries them both as Theo slowly comes into his own as a smart, capable co-hero in their adventure." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)
"This action-packed fantasy should have wide appeal. Sutanto creates a sense of urgency from the first page .... And though Theo’s story largely relies on Chinese gods and monsters, Sutanto deftly weaves in reminders that this is only one of a great many distinct cultures in Asia." -- School Library Journal