The Legendary Mo Seto

Children - Grade 4th-6th
320 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2024
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gaius Konstantine for Readers' Favorite

Being a kid can be rough, but it can also be a beautiful time of exploration and self-discovery. The Legendary Mo Seto by A.Y. Chan chronicles the adventures of charming 12-year-old Modesty Seto. Mo is passionate about taekwondo and idolizes Cody Kwok, a martial arts movie star. However, being a kid also comes with unexpected challenges, and "baggy-shirt-unbrushed-hair-can’t-sit-still" Mo experiences a series of events that disrupt her not-so-normal life. Her father leaves under puzzling circumstances, and she discovers a mysterious old book of his with many secrets. Meanwhile, Cody Kwok is looking for a new protege to star in his movies with him. Mo answers the casting call, only to find that her lifelong nemesis, Dax, has done the same. As events spiral out of control and danger looms, Mo discovers that strength is not only the prerogative of the body but also of the heart.  

The Legendary Mo Seto by A.Y. Chan is a great book perfect for kids in the 9-12-year age group. It is also a delightful read, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, even though I haven't been in that target age group since the Triassic period. Sure, the plot is exceptional and focuses on self-worth, a touch of mystery, action, and friendship, but what truly stands out about this novel is that it's a fun read. The character development is fantastic, and the young protagonist, Mo, reminded me of someone I hold dear. Secondary characters, from Nacho to Cody, are well-rounded and believable, and even the adults are pretty cool. With a well-balanced and riveting story full of humor, adventure, and angst, The Legendary Mo Seto is a wonderful novel for today's youth.

Manik Chaturmutha

The Legendary Mo Seto by A.Y. Chan is about twelve-year-old Modesty "Mo" Seto, who dreams of becoming a taekwondo champion. Mo's father is always there for her as her number one fan and biggest supporter. When Mo learns about the opportunity to audition for a role alongside her idol, the legendary martial artist and movie star Cody Kwok, she knows this is her chance to prove her worth to her dad, the world, and herself. Despite her small stature, Mo is determined to compete. The narrative contains information about Xiaoxi Fu, a secret dance-like martial art developed by Mo's great-grandmother. With these unique maneuvers and an unexpected ally, Mo embarks on a high-octane adventure to save her father and the movie and discovers the unexpected advantage of being small.

Chan's narrative is a compelling blend of action, heart, and intrigue. Mo's determination and resilience shine through as she faces challenges due to being petite for her age, using her resourcefulness and creativity to overcome obstacles. The story is not only about achieving one's dreams but also about the importance of staying true to oneself in the face of adversity. Mo's interactions with Cody Kwok are fascinating, particularly when she discovers that he's not everything the media has portrayed him to be. As Mo delves deeper into her family's secrets, a compelling mystery unfolds, adding depth and intrigue. What makes this book truly special is its relatable and inspiring protagonist. Mo is a character that young readers can look up to, teaching valuable lessons about perseverance, kindness, and the pursuit of one's passions. Through Mo's journey, readers are encouraged to embrace their uniqueness and follow their dreams with courage and determination. Overall, The Legendary Mo Seto is a captivating read that will appeal to all ages, but especially young readers. Chan's skillful storytelling coupled with memorable characters and an engaging plot make this a must-read for anyone seeking an uplifting tale of perseverance, humility, and self-discovery.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

“I may be small, but I am fierce.” At twelve years of age, Mo (short for Modesty) Seto is determined to do better than second place in the Taekwondo competitions. She’s just not quite there yet. Then, Mo hears about auditions for a Cody Kwok movie. In A.Y. Chan’s The Legendary Mo Seto, Mo decides to audition, even though she doesn’t fit the size requirements. She has to grow five inches before her audition. She has to overcome the powerful school bully who always beats her in competitions. Can she do it? Will stuffing extra socks in her shoes help? Or how about her teddy bear’s feet? Or a wedge of cheese? And then there’s the bully. There has to be something that’ll work, that’ll help Mo get through the audition and become the next martial arts movie star.

A.Y. Chan’s middle-grade novel, The Legendary Mo Seto, will have young readers cheering on Mo as her determination sets her goals to stardom. The plot follows Mo as she progresses in her Taekwondo and faces the ultimate challenge of auditioning for a movie. Told in the first person narrative from Mo’s point of view, the story uses a lot of dialogue to keep the action alive. Mo’s adventure will have young readers chuckling at some of her antics as she tries different ways to grow faster and taller. The bully adds a currently relevant addition to the plot as Mo must deal with him as well as her desire to succeed. Young readers will find lots of lessons to learn from in this fast-paced adventure.

Grant Leishman

The Legendary Mo Seto by A.Y. Chan is a fun middle-grade read that follows the adventures of a young martial arts prodigy, Mo Seto. Modesty (Mo) Seto, a twelve-year-old Asian girl, is tiny at less than five feet tall, but she has never let her lack of height get in the way of following her dreams. An expert in Tae-Kwon-Do, Mo idolizes Kung Fu movie star Cody Kwok and dreams of one day meeting her idol. Mo is ecstatic when, after a bitter defeat at the hands of Dex, her nemesis, at a Tae-Kwan-Do tournament, she discovers auditions are being held to find a sidekick for Cody Kwok’s next movie. Finally, she will have the opportunity not only to meet her idol but to star in his next movie because there is no way she will lose this part. However, there are height limitations for the aspiring young actors; five feet is the minimum. How can she meet the height restriction? There has to be a way, surely. She enlists the help of her best friend Nacho and together they try to get Mo into this movie.

The Legendary Mo Seto is written for teenagers and yet, as far away from that demographic as it’s possible to be, I can honestly say I loved this book. Author A.Y. Chan’s writing has a freshness and simplicity about it that I find endearing. Children and young adults will get the references I may have missed but the sheer ebullience of Mo and her determination to succeed certainly captured my heart. I appreciated the tension between Mo and Nacho, with Mo clearly not understanding that Nacho’s feelings for her went well beyond that of best friend, heading into the realm of romantic attachment. The plot and the mystery inherent in the book Mo discovered and her father’s strange behavior gave the story a multi-faceted depth. I particularly loved that the lead character was a young girl and that she was handicapped by her height, with the underlying theme of the story being that girls can achieve whatever they set their minds to and that bullies do not have to be tolerated. This is an excellent story that also educates young people about right and wrong. I enjoyed this book more than I ever expected and I highly recommend it.

K.C. Finn

The Legendary Mo Seto is a middle-grade work penned by author A. Y. Chan in the adventure, cultural, action, and drama genres. In this colorful and vibrant story, young readers are immersed in a world brimming with movies, martial arts, and mayhem. Twelve-year-old Modesty (Mo) Seto dreams of becoming a martial arts movie star, but faces a setback due to a height restriction for auditions. Undeterred, Mo embarks on a spirited adventure to overcome this obstacle, drawing upon her determination and resilience honed through past challenges. As she navigates auditions and schemes how to grow five inches, readers are taken on a heartwarming journey filled with humor, inspiration, and the timeless lesson that powerful things truly come in small packages.

Author A. Y. Chan's story is a delightful and heartwarming read filled with humor and inspiration and one that the target MG audience is likely to fall in love with from the very first page. Chan's confident narration and humor-packed storytelling captivated me from the start, drawing me into Mo's world of martial arts and movie auditions. Mo's determination and resilience in the face of adversity were both relatable and inspiring. I loved the age-appropriate dialogue that made her realistic and endearing, but also credibly wise for her age. The humor injected throughout the story added lightness to the narrative at just the right moments, making it an enjoyable read from beginning to end that never grew boring or lost its pace. As Mo navigated her challenges and pursued her dreams, I found myself cheering her on every step of the way. Overall, The Legendary Mo Seto is a charming tale of courage, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams that will inspire young readers and the young at heart alike.