Today’s book review is brought to us by the Teen Advisory Group’s Carol. Thanks, Carol!
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen-Mah
Chinese Cinderella is a touching true story about a Chinese girl named Adeline Yen-Mah who was considered bad luck at soon as she was born because her mother died from giving birth to her. Her father later marries another woman (called “Niang” by her stepchildren) who treats all of her stepchildren harshly, and favouring her own children. Because Adeline is treated poorly by her parents, she goes to her Aunt Baba who is like a nanny to her – always encouraging her and giving her strength throughout the novel. Adeline excels at school, especially at writing, and because of her academic success, begins to gain her father’s attention. However, jealous of all the attention her father gives to her, her siblings begin to mock and bully her. Later on, she attends a boarding school, wins a story contest, and gains her father’s approval to go to college. At the end of the novel, Adeline embarks on her road to college to pursue her true dream as a writer.
I thought that this book was a heartfelt, moving novel that really allows you to experience Adeline’s sufferings and her determination to become a writer. All her events are described so vividly that I could totally sympathize with what she was going through. Her parents’ strict rules state that Adeline cannot invite anyone over to their house. Adeline’s friends from school begin to question that, and one day, decide to go to her house and surprise her. As a result, Adeline gets beaten by her parents publicly, told that she is a disgrace to the family, and is forced to go to boarding school. Not only that, but even her siblings hurt her: Once when her aunt gives baby chicks as presents to all the kids, and Adeline forms a special bond with hers, naming the chick PLT. Then, when her father asks one of the siblings to get one of the chicks as test to train the dog, he grabs Adeline’s, and PLT is crushed by the dog. Yet despite all her sufferings, Adeline still persevered through it all, and accomplished her dream. Chinese Cinderella truly highlights the perseverance of a young girl who overcame her obstacles – and is the writer she is today.
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