The Kite Rider is a novel written by Geraldine McCaughrean in 2001. The novel's plot mainly revolves around a boy called Gou Haoyou and the story is set in 13th century China. Gou's father Gou Pei is a seaman and is forced to fly on a wind-testing kite by his a crewman of the ship called Di Chou. Gou Pei dies in the process and his widown is ordered to marry Di Chou by the head of the Gou family. However, Gou Haoyou and his cousin get rid of Di Chou and deter him from marrying Haoyou's mother. Gou Haoyou later tries flying on a wind-testing kite. Miao Jie, who runs the local Jade Circus, notices Gou Haoyou flying on the wind-testing kite and offers him a position in the circus as a kite rider. Haoyou joins the circus and travels many towns and becomes semi-famous.
The book was written by the author to describe a fictional story in 13th century China and to revolve the story around a simple kite which goes on to influence so many in the story. The author wanted to explore how kite flying would impact upon Gou Haoyou after what had happened to his father on the kite.
The book was received well by critics and fans alike. In fact, The Times commented that the story is "a masterpiece of storytelling". The Guardian also commented on the book, stating that it was "a marvelous soaring story that gives you a glimpse into another world".