Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is the author of many books for young readers, including SECRET OF THE MOUNTAIN DOG, LEGEND OF THE GHOST DOG, BALTO AND THE GREAT RACE, and the Suddenly Supernatural series. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. But adventure sometimes brings trouble -- and dangers that even a great dog can't help you escape.In the Catskill Mountains, mystery is waiting .
When a friendly and protective Tibetan mastiff appears out of nowhere, 12-year-old Jax names him Mo-Mo and takes him in temporarily in spite of her anxious mother's reservations. Higher up the slope sits an abandoned structure of unknown origins that local legend claims is haunted and has hidden rooms. She lives with her family in New York's Hudson Valley and spends her spare time reading, hiking, and trying to communicate telepathically with her beagle. Instantly inseparable, they hike up the mountain above her house to investigate a light in what Jax thought was an abandoned building.
There, they meet Yeshi, a boy her age, and his teacher, an elderly monk named Jampa Rinpoche, who have come from Tibet to reopen the monastery built nearly 30 years earlier and to celebrate the return of Rinpoche's teacher.

Kimmel, author of the Dalai Lama biography Boy on the Lion Throne (2009), among other titles, creatively and effectively weaves Buddhist teachings as well as a bit of Tibetan history into the rapidly unfolding plot. Later that night, while looking out her window, Jax's gaze is drawn to a light coming from the mountaintop, and she realizes it's from the abandoned building. Yeshi and Jax urgently search for the 11th-century statue of a protector demon called Tsiu Marpo, stolen from a monastery in Tibet, suspecting a suspicious and dangerous red-haired man is in pursuit.
Jax, an experienced hiker, and the dog she's named Mo-Mo, head up the mountain to investigate. Even though he has no collar, the Tibetan mastiff doesn't act like a stray -- and he seems to want to stay with Jax.Then lights appear in the old, abandoned monastery up the mountain. Mentioned in a 14th-century prophecy as "an object of unimaginable power," the statue may also contain a priceless treasure.
They find a Buddhist monk and his student, who have traveled from Tibet to reopen the monastery.
Suspenseful and absorbing, particularly when the kids are trying to decode the language in the prophecy, the story also nicely describes how Jax carries over the lessons from her new friends into her everyday family life.A solid adventure threaded through with spiritual undercurrents.

There she meets a boy her age, Yeshi, who has come all the way from Tibet with his teacher to open the abandoned building -- and to search for a long-lost statue, possibly hidden away in the monastery.But someone else is searching for the statue, too, and when Jax's adventure turns dangerous, she'll have to count on her new friend, and the mysterious dog that's found her, to get her back down the mountain safely. The result is an "East meets West" adventure with the concepts of Buddhism entwined into prophesy, symbolism, a lost artifact, art thieves, and a protective dog.
Jax is an intelligent, self-reliant girl, so the frequent anxieties of her overprotective mother come across as unnecessary and do not move the plot forward.
A conversation toward the end of book concerning the impact of the Chinese takeover of Tibet feels awkward and hastily included.

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