More than 800,000 copies in print!
From the author of critically acclaimed and bestselling memoir Falling Leaves, this is a poignant and moving true account of her childhood, growing up as an unloved daughter in 1940s China.
A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In her own courageous voice, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph in the face of despair.
Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her, and life does not get any easier when her father remarries. Adeline and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled with gifts and attention. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for -- the love and understanding of her family. Like the classic Cinderella story, this powerful memoir is a moving story of resilience and hope.
Includes an Author's Note, a 6-page photo insert, a historical note, and the Chinese text of the original Chinese Cinderella.
A PW BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN ALA-YALSA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS
“One of the most inspiring books I have ever read.” –The Guardian
Mah revisits the territory she covered in her adult bestseller, Falling Leaves, for this painful and poignant memoir aimed at younger readers. Blamed for the loss of her mother, who died shortly after giving birth to her, Mah is an outcast in her own family. When her father remarries and moves the family to Shanghai to evade the Japanese during WWII, Mah and her siblings are relegated to second-class status by their stepmother. They are given attic rooms in their big Shanghai home, they have nothing to wear but school uniforms, and they subsist on a bare-bones diet while their stepmother's children dine sumptuously. Mah finds escape from this emotionally barren landscape at school, but the academic awards she wins only enrage her jealous siblings and stepmother, and she is eventually torn from her aunt--her one champion--and shipped off to boarding school. That Mah eventually soars above her circumstances is proof of her strength of character. The author recreates moments of cruelty and victory so convincingly that readers will feel almost as if they're in the room with her. She never veers from a child's sensibility; the child in these pages rarely judges the actions of those around her, she's simply bent on surviving. Mah easily weaves details of her family's life alongside the traditions of China (e.g., her grandmother's bound feet) and the changes throughout the war years and subsequent Communist takeover. This memoir is hard to put down. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
dis hur book have mucho sweg swag. i recommind dit to dose peeple who like bukzs with wurds not and much pichurz. rehvew by duk dolan prononsid duhk dolin
Excellent book must read! Teardrops from the heart
This is an excellent book, it's very sad! Teaches us a life learning lesson. A book that you will not put down. It's a must read before your lifetime
I originally had to read this book for school, but it was so good I had to read ahead. It is a wonderful story about a girl who yearned for acceptance from her parents and siblings. It is sad, yet interesting. Definitely recommend.