The main character of this story is Alex Chen. He is a shy and not very confident teenager. He thinks he isn't good at anything except maybe cooking. The boy lives in Liverpool with his parents. Alex's Chinese grandmother always comes to Liverpool for the Chinese New Year. This time she surprises everyone by some news. Her younger brother Tong Po is going visit them soon. Tong Po used to study kung fu at the Shaolin Temple. Alex is excited. Now he can tell his school friends that his great uncle is a kung fu fighter. To the boy's disappointment, Uncle Tong Po is only a kung fu cook. He decides to help Alex improve his cooking skills. After some hard work his cooking indeed becomes much better. Besides, Uncle gives him a magic kung fu spice. However, when a crucial day comes, Alex can't find it.
Everything happened many years ago. In Odenwald, the south of Germany, the von Landshort Castle stood beside the river. The owner of this castle was a proud aristocrat. His father, a famous warrior, left him this castle. The Baron took care of his home as best as he could. Many other rich German families built comfortable modern houses in the valleys, abandoning traditional fortresses. The baron had another treasure — a very beautiful daughter. At the age of eighteen, she knew how to read, dance, play the guitar and sing beautiful love songs. Her skills were amazing. The girl never left the castle.The baron's daughter was raised by her aunts. They had always convinced her that she needed to be afraid of men and not to talk to them.
Brownville is a small provincial town in California. It is located between two hills covered with a dense forest. The air is fresh and clean here. Lots of people come to this town to relax. There is only one school in Brownville and the main character of the book works there as a teacher. He lives in a boarding house and the school is on the other side of the hill, about a mile and a half from there. There is another and shorter way- a forest path through the hill. The school can be reached in fifteen minutes. Late at night the teacher is walking through the forest. He sits down on a log to rest and suddenly hears voices. Someone is cursing and threatening to kill another. Then he hears one of these voices in the boarding house. The teacher begins to realize that the city is too quiet and safe.
Chico was well aware that the forest should be investigated carefully. So cautiously as the people of the forest did many years ago. The Amazon Forest is one of the most wonderful places on the planet. It is big, old and there are many animals and plants including rare species. Here is the larger part of the fresh water reserves on the planet. Chico was born in Brazil. There were no schools in the tropics, and he began to work hard at the age of ten. He did the same thing as the others. Everybody collected useful materials in the forest and sold them in the city. As a child, the boy did not think about the world outside the forest. But when he grew up, he realized, that the Earth is much larger than his beautiful tropical forest.
Everything happened in the summer. The protagonist of the book thought that it was very hot in the city. He wanted to take a walk in the forest, look at the mountains or the river, travel around the country and see it completely. The young man had a small red car and a good map. He went on a journey. Everything was great and he felt happy. The hot city was replaced by wide roads and green trees outside the car window. But one day the car broke down. The young man realized that he got lost in a completely unknown place. But then he saw a very beautiful long-haired girl in a dress. He decided to talk to her and got out of the car. He greeted this beautiful girl and said that he was lost. At first the girl was frightened by a stranger, but then she smiled and invited him to go with her to the village, where she would try to help.
It was a quiet and sunny day in the early summer. Thor and Loki were strolling around Asgard. Thor was bored. Thor did not like to rest and laze, he adored only one thing — fighting with the giants. He told Loki about that. Loki tried to convince Thor that Asgard was the most beautiful place in the universe and it was a great opportunity just to relax and enjoy the views. All his words were for nothing. Thor was not very interested. He was ready to harness the goats into the cart and fly to fight with the giants. His soul demanded something militant. After all, the giants themselves could appear in the land of Gods at any time and cause a lot of problems. Loki was not too convincing and he had to go on this dangerous journey with Thor.
Jean, a prominent scientist, is working on an important project. He is trying to invent an additive that can make people eat certain products. Jean wants to call his future invention WOW — the Water of Wanting. This substance can become revolutionary and bring him the recognition he deserves. Besides, the man has a more personal reason to create such an additive. Every day he watches his wife struggling to make their little son eat healthy food. Jean's boss is very excited about the project too. He expects to earn a lot of money if it is successful. But their plans are ruined when Jean sees the other side of this invention. People can get addicted to certain types of food and it can kill them. Jean quits the project and takes a vacation. But now it is up to his boss to decide how to use this WOW.
The first thing that happens after arrest is an interrogation at a police station. The police officer asks questions, and the offender answers or keeps silence. Some of them are silent, others trie to lie and make excuses. Ian likes to talk. He is ready to tell everything in detail. He begins his story with the fact, that the idea belonged to Tony. This is his younger brother, but despite their age difference — Tony has always been very smart. Ian just agreed. He is nervous, because it is impossible to feel comfortable in the interrogation room. There is a special chair and it is very uncomfortable to sit on it. The front legs are shorter than the rear ones. But nobody comes to the interrogation room of their own free will and Jan has to endure inconvenience and talk.
The main character of the book was born in NewYork, but lived in Hong Kong. He had a successful business in Asia and the money was always in abundance. Twenty years later, he decided to return home in New York. On the way, he stopped in California for a week. There he had a friend named Mohun Dampier. Dampier never worked. He just lived off his parents. Mohun was also convinced that the magic existed and ruled all his life. He enjoyed reading occult books. When the main character wrote to Mohun, he soon sent a servant to the hotel. In the evening, the main character went by taxi to his friend's house. It was a brick mansion near the ocean. Mohun changed a lot. He looked like an old man. Some interesting changes happened in his life.
New York consists of numerous districts. In one of such districts there are small streets called «places». Lots of artists discovered these places and decided to live there. Cheap rentals and old lofts were the things they liked. Later this place was named Greenwich Village. Sue and Johnsy opened a studio on the top floor of one old building. The real name of Johnsy was Joana. She came from California. Sue was from Maine. Soon they became best friends. Suddenly a dangerous disease came to their house. Sue got pneumonia. The doctor examined her. He said that the girl had only one way to survive — she had to obtain a passion to life. She needed either a beloved person or a life goal. Johnsy decided to help her friend recover.
At the end of the day, the young Goodman Brown went out into the streets of Salem Village. Then he returned to the house for a second, and his wife Vera kissed him. She desperately asked him to stay at home, but Goodman Brown answered, that he had to make this journey before dawn. Vera looked from the house and the wind started playing with her hair. The young man resolutely went down the road. When he looked back, he saw the figure of his spouse with the pink ribbons in her hair in the distance. The woman was standing on the threshold. Goodman was ashamed to make Vera sad. Still he kept going. It was getting dark and an Indian could be hiding behind every tree. But the man was going to meet his companion and he had to get there on time.
Strong people can easily take care of themselves. They are able to solve their own problems, and a little bit more — to help loved ones, and just people who need it. This is one of the nice possibilities of a really strong person. But what can the weak people do? What if it is a child, a sick person or an animal? And if it's just a small bird? Jan found this bird at the window of his bedroom, on a small ledge outside. The pigeon was wounded. It could not fly and clearly had to die. Ella offered Jan to give the bird to a person who had her own dovecote, but Jan refused. This is his bird and he must take care of it by himself. Ella did not understand him, but agreed. The pigeon felt worse than a week ago. Earlier it tried to fly, but now it was just lying without moving. But Jan was not going to change his mind.
Lieutenant Hermann Braille from Ohio was the best soldier in the regiment. No one knew him too closely, but the general treated Herman very well. Lieutenant Braille was a tall and handsome man. He had blue eyes and long blond hair. He always looked like a real gentleman. Even in battles he managed to wear a clean and tidy uniform. Herman was about thirty years old. He looked like a hero, which artists like painting on their pictures. In another battle, Hermann was just standing on the spot. The bullets and the shells were flying past. He did not make any movements, but nothing hurt him. After this incident, the other soldiers decided that the lieutenant was neither stupid nor immortal, but just a really very lucky man.
People can be courageous even in the most difficult times. The protagonist of this story also proves that he has great power. It was a warm August morning. Kenzaburo Oe got off the train. At such an early time, the city was still sleeping. Everything was unusually quiet. On a similar quiet August day, something fatal happened. The first American plane flew over Hiroshima and dropped a lethal bomb. It changed the familiar world forever. Lot of people say that this historical moment brought World War II to the long-awaited end. And it even saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But this bomb killed dozens of thousands of civilians. Even today, after sixty years, humanity feels the consequences of that awful tragedy.
Everything happened at St. James College. Two men were sitting at dinner and talking. One of them was Professor Parkins. He was a young man who took everything he did very seriously. He told his companion that he was going to leave college the next day. The man was going to play golf on the coast for about two weeks. During this time, he hoped to learn how to play better. After all, any business should be approached as seriously as possible. And golf is really a serious thing. Another man told about the old church of the Knights Templar in a small town nearby. He wanted to know whether it was worth visiting it. He also said that golf was a boring game of no interest for him at all. The professor said visiting a church could be quite an interesting activity.