Timothy Freshwater’s father can’t control him, his mother is always out of town, and now the boy too smart for his own good has been expelled from the last school in the city. After he meets Mr. Shen, a mysterious Chinese mailroom clerk at his father’s office, Timothy winds up in more trouble than he has ever gotten himself into.
It turns out the diminutive Mr. Shen is a dragon. Forced to take human shape for a thousand years, Mr. Shen cannot resume his true form until he scales an ancient Dragon’s Gate during a festival for the 125th year of the dragon. Now Timothy finds himself Mr. Shen’s latest keeper: stalked by a ninja, and chased by a menacing trio of black taxicabs. And when Mr. Shen falls into the wrong hands, Timothy must rescue the dragon from a fleet of Chinese pirate junks. All hope seems lost until a strange-looking black brig with red sails called the Ironic Gentleman appears on the horizon. Relying on his own ingenuity and an annoying new ally, a girl called Alex, Timothy must take on the fleet and its evil commander, the Man in the Beige Linen Suit. Told in Adrienne Kress’s distinctive, sparkling prose, Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate is a humorous and astounding story about a boy who ultimately uncovers his own ability to love and opens his heart to the world around him.