Celeste Lim

Children's book author


The Crystal Ribbon

Girls don't get married at 11. But in Medieval China, some did.

Li Jing was just a simple farmer's daughter, until one day she became a tongyang xi -- a child bride, sold to become a wife and nursemaid to a three-year-old husband barely older than her baby brother. Though it broke her heart, Jing traveled out of her humble village and came to Xiawan -- a big, vibrant city in the northeast. She would honor her family and be a good wife, despite the alienation, the bullying, and yes, even the abuse. But when her new "family" decided to sell her in a crisis, that was the last straw.

There was no elaborate plan of escape -- there was only running away, becoming free, and going home. But it wasn't that easy. Jing was on her own. Or was she? With the help of magical sentient creatures called jing (not to be confused with Jing's name, she hates that,) Jing was certain she would find her way home, despite the woods, snowstorms and even malicious strangers... but who was this handsome, most peculiar-looking boy with hair that shone like the golden sun who curiously interrupted her journey? And even if she did get home, would she be able to convince her family to take her back?

Check out THE CRYSTAL RIBBON book trailer by Spike Li Film!


Praise for The Crystal Ribbon:

"This hopeful coming-of-age story weaves together historical facts and spiritual/cultural beliefs to tell a tale of empowerment from the perspective of a poor, young female... Fantasy, history, folklore, memorable characters, and even a hint of humor converge for a great read."

~ Kirkus Reviews

Read the full review from KIRKUS here.

Photo credits: KEVIN KOO

"... A delightful debut featuring lovely prose and a refreshingly unique setting of China during the Song Dynasty."

~ Booklist

Photo credits: KEVIN KOO

"An unusual and fascinating though dark tale."  -- School Library Journal, Nov 2016

"This quiet, unhurried gem of a coming-of-age story is an impressive outing from debut author Lim… Historical fiction fans will appreciate the unusual setting." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Jan 2017
Read the full review from BCCB here.

"Well-researched historical elements meet rich fantasy in this tale of determination and devotion." -- Publishers Weekly

Read the full review from PW here.