Book Review: Mulan’s Secret Plan by Tessa Roehl

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Published in Australia by Scholastic in 2020, out now.

Format: Paperback

Genre: Middle Grade Adventure Fiction.

Page Count: 126

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Before Mulan saved China . . . she was a girl ready to learn!
Mulan can’t wait to start school. She’s excited to learn! But when class starts, she realizes that it’s not quite what she was expecting. And if she and her friends really want to learn something, they’re going to have to do it their own way.

My Review:

Mulan’s Secret Plan is such a sweet book, filled with friendship to the brim. I absolutely loved this peek at young Mulan’s life, living with her Mum and Grandmother and beloved pooch Little Brother, helping her family tend to the household whilst they anxiously awaited Mulan’s Father’s return from the War.

When Mulan learns she’s going to start attending School, she’s so eager! I absolutely adored her enthusiasm and excitement at getting to learn writing and mathematics, though when Mulan and her closest friend Na find what’s actually in store for them is lessons from a stern Matchmaker, who essentially pitches the girls against one another in various tasks such as weaving silk, making the perfect rice and applying make up, all tasks which done perfectly, supposedly will ensure that the girls find a suitable partner, bringing honour to their families. This aspect of the story definitely had me thinking about young girls’ lives, who bore that expectation of not being schooled in the traditional sense like their male counterparts, but expected to follow the womanly roles in the family.

Friendship was such an important aspect in this book, not just between Mulan and Na, but the other three girls that Mulan and her friend are schooling with! Whilst the Matchmaker would essentially discourage the girls from learning together, let alone teaching them first, Mulan realises that the girls all have a common goal: they want to do the best they can to bring honour to their families, she plots an idea where the girls share their knowledge with one another and work together to excel in these tasks! Mulan’s Secret Plan was just such a cute, fun and endearing read and at 126 pages with perfectly adorable illustrations throughout, I finished this in one sitting! I definitely recommend this to fans of Disney of any age!

Thank you Scholastic Books Australia for sending me a copy for review.

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