One week, Ms. Wang’s fifth-grade classroom erupts in protest. “Teacher, I can’t find my gold pen!” “Where did my lunch money go?” “I just put money on my bus pass, and it disappeared!” A string of precious objects goes missing, beginning with young Jade’s favorite gold pen, which is found soon after in her classmate Yonghe’s desk. The head student is convinced Yonghe stole the pen, and in the flurry of events that follow, groups form and tempers begin to rise.
Each individual chapter focuses on one student, so everyone has a chance to tell his or her story. But who is telling the truth? Who deserves to be right? Wang Shu-Fen weaves a web of hearsay reminiscent of Kurosawa’s Rashomon, in which everyone has a story that is complete, yet completely personal.
Former elementary school teacher Wang recreates for us the world of growing minds and hearts, whose society is no less complicated, nor any less fascinating than that of adults.