It sounds like a flimsy excuse, but for young Jim it's literally true: An imp really does eat his homework, as well as gets him into further trouble with his mother, his father, and his teacher in Chinese school.
Why? Because Jim's ever-crabby grandfather is the reincarnation of legendary imp-fighter Chung Kuei, and the newly escaped imp—with four arms and red eyes, and invisible to everyone else—is bent on avenging centuries of persecution. Once Jim overcomes his reluctance to ask "Grandpop" for help, a wild chase through San Francisco's Chinatown ensues, marked by pratfalls, chaos, and transformations. At last Grandpop corners the imp, drives it into a frenzy with a barrage of corny jokes and insults, then stuffs it into a silk pillow. Yep (The Dragon Prince, p. 1316, etc.) telescopes the plot severely; he occasionally checks the pace long enough for a peek into a sweatshop, or a conversation about the younger generation's drift away from traditional culture.
Still, readers will not be able to put this light, funny fantasy down.(Fiction. 9-11)