The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jean and Mou-sien Tseng [in What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature]
Seven Chinese brothers, who walk alike, talk alike, even look alike, each possesses an extraordinary, unique power. Each must call on his special power to save each other’s lives from the cruel Emperor Ch’in Shih Huang.
Although the seven Chinese brothers are clearly fictional characters, the Emperor Ch’in Shih Huang was a historical figure; he is generally credited with having brought about the unification of China by establishing one central government. He is also believed to have planned China’s legendary Great Wall. Looks like having so much to do probably made him a bit of a cranky ruler …