Adeline Yen Mah’s Chinese Cinderella has a beautiful new cover and I’m glad, because this memoir of life in post-war China will appeal to so many children. Adeline’s mother dies soon after her birth. Her wealthy father remarries a much younger wife, who treats his five children badly and favours her own two. Poor Adeline is blamed by her older siblings for her mother’s death and finds solace only in the love and care of her aunt and her success at school. Meanwhile times are turbulent: the Japanese take over their city, war comes, the Americans defeat the Japanese in WW2 and China is taken over by Mao Tse-Tsung and the Communists. Adeline’s life finally changes when she wins a writing contest and is sent to study at medical school in England (though this has its own problems, detailed in her memoir Falling Leaves)
A lovely read and a fascinating glimpse into the past, especially for children that like ‘true stories’.
The tale of Chinese Cinderella (Yeh-Shen) comes at the end of the book, told to Adeline by her beloved aunt, and packs a huge emotional punch as a result. The entrancing story, which dates back to 850AD China, can be found here
Prints of this beautiful image by Meredith Moriarty can be found at kidfantastic
How about it Disney?