The Boy from Clearwater: Book 1 (Hardcover)

The Boy from Clearwater: Book 1 By Pei-Yun Yu, Jian-Xin Zhou (Illustrator), Lin King (Translated by) Cover Image
By Pei-Yun Yu, Jian-Xin Zhou (Illustrator), Lin King (Translated by)
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An incredible true story in graphic novel form that lays bare the tortured and triumphant history of Taiwan, an island claimed and fought over by many countries, through the life story of a man who lived through its most turbulent times.

Part One: Taiwan, 1930s. Tsai Kun-lin, an ordinary boy born in Qingshui, recounts a carefree childhood despite the Japanese occupation: growing up happily with the company of nursery rhymes and picture books on Qingshui Street. As war emerges Tsai's memories shift to military parades, air raids, and watching others face conscription into the army. It seems no one can escape. After the war, the book-loving teenager tries hard to learn Mandarin and believes he is finally stepping towards a comfortable future; but little does he know, a dark cloud awaits him ahead.

Part Two: Taiwan, 1950s. In his second year at Taichung First Senior High School, Tsai is arrested simply for joining a book club and subsequently tortured, deprived of civil rights, and sent to Green Island for "reformation." Lasting until his release in September 1960, Tsai, a victim of the White Terror era, spends ten years of his youth in prison on an unjust charge. But he is ready to embrace freedom.

Experience parts one and two of the tour-de-force graphic novel series that took Taiwan by storm – parts three and four coming May 2024.


★ “The stupendous achievements here are many: a synergistic literary success; a historic record of twentieth-century Taiwan; the remarkable account of a boy’s life; and a triumph of translation.”
Booklist (starred)

“A story of persistence, both hopeful and chilling, and a powerful vision of the personal implications of Taiwan’s mid-century history.”
—School Library Journal


About the Author

Yu Pei-yun graduated from the Department of Foreign Language, National Taiwan University and holds a doctoral degree in Human Science from Ochanomizu University, Japan. Currently teaching at the Graduate Institute of Children's Literature at National Taitung University, she is devoted to the studies of Children's Literature and Culture. Yu also writes, translates, critiques, curates exhibitions about and plans the publication of children's literature.

Chou Jian-xin holds a master's degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Children's Literature at National Taitung University. 

Lin King is a writer and translator from Taipei, Taiwan. Her work has appeared in publications including Boston Review, Joyland, Asymptote, and Columbia Journal, and has won the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She translates from Mandarin Chinese and Japanese to English, and her translation of Yang Shuang-zi's Taiwan Travelogue is forthcoming from Graywolf Press.

Praise For…

“A story of persistence, both hopeful and chilling, and a powerful vision of the personal implications of Taiwan’s mid-century history.” – School Library Journal

"Complex." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9781646142798
ISBN-10: 1646142799
Publisher: Levine Querido
Publication Date: November 28th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English