The Fire Horse Girl

by Kay Honeyman

Scholastic Inc.
February 2016

Ages 14 – 18 . Grades 9 – 12

Library of Congress: 2012018015

Lexile measure: 660L

DRA: 70

Guided Reading: Z



Jade Moon is a Fire Horse -- the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, willful, and far too imaginative. But while her family despairs of marrying her off, she has a passionate heart and powerful dreams, and wants only to find a way to make them come true.

Then a young man named Sterling Promise offers Jade Moon and her father a chance to go to America. While Sterling Promise's smooth manners couldn't be more different from her impulsive nature, Jade Moon falls in love with him on the long voyage. But America in 1923 doesn't want many Chinese immigrants, and when they are detained at Angel Island, the "Ellis Island of the West," she discovers a betrayal that destroys all her dreams. To get into America, much less survive there, Jade Moon will have to use all her stubbornness and will to break a new path... one so brave and dangerous, only a Fire Horse girl could imagine it.
Kay Honeyman

Kay Honeyman grew up in Texas, where she followed football and politics with equal passion. Her first novel, The Fire Horse Girl, was nominated for three state awards. Kay now teaches language arts in Dallas, where she lives with her family. Please visit her website at and follow her on Twitter at @kayhoneyman.


  • * "First-time author Honeyman has researched the history of Angel Island and early twentieth century San Francisco carefully, yet the ultimate strength of this story is in her character Jade Moon. Her voice, authentic and consistent, transcends this historical fiction/adventure/love story to embrace every young woman who has ever searched for the real person hidden under the veneer of society's expectations." -- Booklist, starred review

    "Readers will recognize (well before Jade Moon does) that her inner fire is an asset, and that she's much more than the sign under which she was born." -- Publishers Weekly

    "Perilous, page-turning adventure in old Chinatown" -- Kirkus Reviews

    "A refreshing twist on the Chinese immigration story" -- School Library Journal


--- - “What do you think America will be like?” I asked Sterling Promise.

“Your uncle used to say that it was a place where stories began. A place where any ending was possible.”

My eyes widened. “Did Uncle like stories?”

“He liked possibilities,” he said. “I think America is a land that allows you to walk away from an old life into a better one.”

I nodded slowly.

“And you, what do you think it will be like?”

“It will have... what do you call it? Getting to live as who you are?”

“Freedom,” he said. But he wasn't looking at me.

“That is what it will be. Freedom.”
Paperback / softback

ISBN: 9780545403115

336pp. | 5-¼ x 8