Adventures in Ancient China
Ancient China is a terrible place.
This is a weird, long, graphic-novel type book. It's still aimed at kids, but it's really aimed at older kids. It's very strange. It seems to be part of a series, and not the first part. These two twin kids and their little sister are out walking and the little sister runs into a weird travel agency place and they chase her. The proprietor opens a magic book that causes all three of the kids to travel to ancient China, where the twins promptly get in an argument and their sister wanders off. The twins have a miserable time as their jerk little sister smugly gets treated nicely by Chinese officials. The twins accidentally discover the secret of silk and end up on the run, then eventually break into the palace to get their sister and then manage to escape and finish reading the magic book in order to get back to the real world. And that's it.
There's adventure, but it's mostly just them having to deal with them being barbarians and foreigners, and not really having time to look at the things which are in ancient China which are interesting, as the guidebook describes factually. It just looks like they have a terrible time, and are very angry at their little sister, and are stuck there for days and can't get back out again. They almost die repeatedly.
It's kind of like the adventure is thrown in for the sake of adventure. There's no character development, there's no real interesting story line, it's just them fleeing constantly. Their little sister is just a cliched plot device to propel the story. Aside from the annoying story, the guidebook is just like, "Fact fact fact. Fact fact fact." So it's just an info dump with an irritating story to accompany it. It's not bad. It's not lying. It doesn't have a bad message. I'm not really sure what the message is.