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The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet…

The Five Chinese Brothers (1938)

by Claire Huchet Bishop

Other authors: Kurt Wiese (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,151487,081 (3.94)21
  1. 00
    The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome (raizel)
    raizel: both stories have people with unusual powers

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English (46)  French (2)  All (48)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Five brothers that look eerily the same possess magic powers, such as swallowing up the sea or surviving a fire. One brother lets a young boy tag along on a fishing trip. The brother swallows the sea so the boy can gather fish. Tragedy strikes when he can no longer hold the sea in and releases the water, drowning the young boy. Accused for murder, the brother faces execution until his brothers step in to save him. Each uses their gift to survive execution and the brother is let go for being proven innocent. The brothers return home and live happily ever after.

Fairy tales were originally very dark, and this tale is no exception. Murder is a heavy topic in this book and I'm not sure how well the trial was handled, but that's just me. It was an accident, after all. I wasn't fond of the illustrations, as they seemed to stereotype the Asian culture immensely. There are only three colors used and overall I wasn't wowed with it. I can see why teachers were banning it from the classroom. ( )
  kvedros | Mar 12, 2018 |
I would utilize this book in a second, third, fourth, or fifth grade classroom because of the somewhat violent attempted murders throughout the book. This book would be a great tool to utilize when teaching about the importance of teamwork. Educators could use this book an example of how cooperation, teamwork, and courage can accomplish even the most challenging of scenarios. The family aspect of the book is a nice addition to the plot and allows for students to see how siblings can get along in a positive way. One could also use this book when learning about Chinese history, specifically about the Great Wall of China.
  jthodesen01 | Mar 31, 2017 |
Rather sad tale in which a small boy dies because he does not follow the instructions that he was given. Once you can get past that, it is a tale about five brothers who each have a specific "skill" that allows the group in total to escape punishment for the death of a young boy. ( )
  Pfefferk | Mar 1, 2017 |
abstract thinking, lots of metaphors, but simple read. kind of aggressive. teaches brothers a lesson if they do something wrong, but shows innocence too. bazaar
  Jennamg123 | Oct 13, 2016 |
I enjoyed the idea of this book but I did not like how it was illustrated. First, this book presents many stereotypes from the beginning. The front page shows the five Chinese brothers and every one of them looks exactly the same. Also, they are all yellow, which is another stereotype made up to degrade the Asian culture. The book is about five Chinese brothers who each have a special strength to them. One can stretch his legs as long as he wants. The other brother can't be burned while another brother has a iron neck. Finally, one can swallow the sea and the last brother could hold his breath for however long he wanted. The idea of the book is very interesting and children love this book I am sure because I too enjoyed the idea that went behind it, however the stereotypes presented in this book are far too insulting to ever want to read this to any class I have. I am giving this book a 3 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed the supernatural part of the story but I did not like the racism it presented. ( )
  tsavan1 | Oct 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bishop, Claire Huchetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiese, KurtIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my father who made me love China and To my mother a born story-teller
First words
Once apon a time there were Five Chinese Brothers and they all looked exactly alike.
We have tried to get rid of you in every way possible and somehow it cannot be done. It must be that you are innocent.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
This is the tale of five extraordinary Chinese brothers who use their gifts to save one brother's life. As the first brother is accused of murder and sentenced to death, each of his brothers take his place so that the executions cannot be carried out.
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No descriptions found.

Five brothers who look just alike outwit the executioner by using their extraordinary individual qualities.

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Average: (3.94)
1 6
2 8
2.5 1
3 35
3.5 6
4 51
4.5 1
5 62

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