Dre moves from the mid-west to China for his mom's new job. The adjustment is somewhat difficult, with the new culture and all. Dre starts at his new school and starts to like a violinist Mei Ying. They instantly become friends. Meanwhile, being the new guy in school, Dre also develops enemies, a bully named Cheng, who is good at martial arts. After a fight that leads back to Dre's apartment complex, Dre is defended by the apartment handyman Mr. Han. Han takes Dre to patch things up with Cheng at a martial arts class, but Cheng's master asks for a battle instead. Han intercedes and requests that a battle take place in a coming tournament instead. Cheng's teacher agrees. Dre and Han practice daily, and Han takes Dre on an out of town trip to the mountains for inspiring lessons. Han instills patience and fluid movements in Dre, versus opting for brute force. Dre becomes the astute student, all while learning a bit about Eastern culture. The tournament is nearing, and Mei Ying has a competition as well and she invites Dre to her recital. Dre is frowned upon by Mei Ying's parents at first but when they see that he has noble intentions for her, they let them continue their friendship. At the tournament, Dre slowly moves from one level to the next, to the semi-finals. He gets injured in the leg and gets beaten in that round. However, he is determined to finish the contest so after a therapy session with Han, he steps onto the mat, and faces Cheng. Cheng is ruthless and strong, Dre much more cunning. Cheng re-injures Dre's leg, but Dre in a last effort to win, pulls out a move he learned from the mountain field trip with Han, and beats Cheng.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a re-imagining of the Karate Kid series, now with an updated student and teacher.
Best scene in story:
When Dre gets to see the sights of Beijing.
Opinion about the main character:
Dre is cocky and is given a needed lesson in humility.