Cover image for The imp that ate my homework
The imp that ate my homework
Yep, Laurence, 1948-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, [1998]

Physical Description:
87 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Jim teams up with his grandfather, who is known as the meanest man in Chinatown, to defeat a powerful demon.
Reading Level:
600 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 2.0 29481.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.1 4 Quiz: 13540.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Jim teams up with his grandfather, who is known as the meanest man in Chinatown, to defeat a powerful demon.

Author Notes

Laurence Yep was born in San Francisco, California on June 14, 1948. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1970 and received a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

He primarily writes fiction for young adults, but has also written and edited several works for adults. His first novel, Sweetwater, was published in 1973. His other books include Dragonwings, Dragon's Gate, Shadow Lord, Child of the Owl, The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Newbery Medal Honor Book, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-7. Jim, growing up with his parents in a Chinese neighborhood in San Francisco, has always had trouble relating to Grandpop, aka the meanest man in Chinatown. But when a six-foot-tall, four-armed, furry green imp enters Jim's life, hilariously wreaking havoc on his school and home life, it seems Grandpop may be Jim's most valuable ally. The two join forces against this ancient, magical creature, and in the process, Jim comes to understand and appreciate his grandfather's many talents. Writing in a lighter vein and for a younger audience than usual, Yep is only partially successful. The concept of a demonic personality controlling the daily activities of a modern child will draw readers into the story, but Yep's strength is his attention to details of real life and places in Chinatown. Still, this book and the recent Later, Gator (1995) may be a good way to entice readers to try Yep's other works. (Reviewed December 15, 1997)0060276886Kay Weisman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jim's Grandpop is widely known as the meanest man in Chinatown, and Jim is afraid of him. But then he meets the Imp, a truly nasty Chinese genie who has escaped from a dug-up vase. The Imp is out to wreck Jim and his family with his destructive tricks and capers‘and who is going to believe Jim when he tells his teacher that the Imp ate his homework for a snack? Only cranky old Grandpop has the key to defeating their magical opponent. Yep deftly draws a picture of a family tiptoeing around a volatile patriarch. But the point is well made that sometimes children don't know everything about their grandparents‘especially Jim, who doesn't know that Grandpop is secretly the supernatural warrior Chung Kuei, who defeated the Imp hundreds of years ago. Some readers may wish for an explanation of exactly what the Imp is and what it represents in Chinese culture; Huang's drawings, at least, give readers a clear picture of an ugly demon with four arms, horns and leering grin, stirring up mischief for his own wicked pleasure. Readers will be cheering as Grandpop makes the Imp so mad it throws a tantrum and yells, "I'm going to sue for slander." Good-natured fun. Ages 8-12. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5‘Jim's Grandpop is the meanest man in Chinatown so it is a challenge to describe him for a school essay. However, that problem seems insignificant when an imp, released from an ancient jar in China, starts to harass the boy and his parents. It starts a fire at the sweatshop where Jim's mother works and a panic in the butcher shop where his father works. The boy knows that his grandfather will be the next target. Strangely, the elderly man relishes the fight, hinting that he might be the reincarnation of the Chinese hero Chung Kuei. Although he is old and without magic, Grandpop is still a fighter. Can he stop the imp? Maybe there will be hope if his "native-born, no brains" grandson can team up with this crotchety guardian of Chinese tradition. Yep has written a fast-paced, light adventure that is full of the flavor of San Francisco's Chinatown. The clash of modern and traditional cultures is common among many immigrant groups and perhaps this whimsical look at the conflict will help children value and understand their grandparents. Huang's humorous and lively illustrations capture the personalities and action of the story.‘Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

The Meanest Man in Chinatownp. 1
The Impp. 12
The Imp Ate My Homeworkp. 19
Chinese Schoolp. 26
The Sweatshopp. 35
The Butcher Shopp. 42
Portsmouth Squarep. 49
The Feudp. 56
Table for Twop. 63
Stage Frightp. 70
The Netp. 77
Teammatesp. 86