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The Amah

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Amy finds her family responsibilities growing and interfering with her ballet practice when her mother takes a job outside the home.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 5th 2001 by Puffin (first published 1999)
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Kira-Kira by Cynthia KadohataGirl in Translation by Jean KwokAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen YangA Step from Heaven by An NaBorn Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Best Asian-American Teen Fiction
123rd out of 144 books — 222 voters
Ballet Shoes by Noel StreatfeildA Dream of Sadler's Wells by Lorna HillBallet Shoes for Anna by Noel StreatfeildBallet for Drina by Jean EstorilThe Ballet Family by Mabel Esther Allan
Middle Grade Ballet & Dance Fiction
123rd out of 182 books — 6 voters

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Aug 26, 2013 Gale rated it liked it

T welve-year-old Amy Chin feels trapped between two cultures as she and her four younger siblings grow up in 1990's San Francisco. Slender with a dancer's body she is eager to practice for her ballet class' production of CINDERELLA. But she resents a sudden casting change so that she has to play the part of one of the mean step-sisters. In fact there are frequent reference to the themes of magic and adaptation of this classic fairy tale throughout this serious YA novel
Mar 06, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Melina
I was really thrilled to find this on the library shelf. I've heard a lot about Laurence Yep (and enjoyed another of his books, Lady of Ch'iao Kuo Warrior of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531, before I started the 50books_poc challenge). But we've mostly got his fantasy books, and I'm really not into dragons at the moment. And so I'd sort of given up on Yep for the moment. Until The Amah turned up. It's a ballet book! A genre I really adore!

There is so very much to recommend this book. Yep has
Apr 18, 2016 Molly rated it it was ok
Shelves: grad-school, 2010
Laurence Yep’s The Amah tells the story of twelve-year-old Amy who must miss her beloved ballet classes to care for her younger siblings when her mother becomes an amah (Chinese nanny) for the affluent Miss Stephanie. Forced to baby-sit her rambunctious siblings, Amy’s resentments begin to build. While the reader naturally sides with Amy, Yep does an outstanding job of explaining her mother’s point of view as well. By sacrificing time with her own children to take care of her charge, Amy’s mothe ...more
Sandra Strange
Mar 29, 2010 Sandra Strange rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A little young for my high school readers, this Yep novel shows the realistic struggles of as Chinese American girl whose father has died, leaving her mother to struggle making a living as an amah (like a nanny, but more intertwined with her charges' lives to a rich Chinese American family. Amy, who is in love with ballet and has been recently cast as a stepsister in the Cinderella ballet, feels rejected by her hypercritical mother, who keeps praising the girl she is tending. Her mother's job th ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Lybah rated it did not like it
it wasnt a good book. Anyone out there that wants to read it, don't
Mar 01, 2008 Heidi rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teenage girls
Shelves: girly-books
This book revovles around the whole Cinderella/Stepsister attitude. When Amy's mom takes a job as an amah, a Chinese nanny, Amy feels she is left out. Every night that her mom comes home all she hears about is Miss Stephanie, this is the girl that Mrs. Chin takes care of. As Amy gets to know more about Stephanie and her personal life she changes her thoughts about her. It is a good book to read to realize that a person's life may seem perfect on the outside, but when you look inside you see thei ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Squeaky rated it it was ok
I didn't hate it or anything, actually, I wish the book had been longer, and not resolved so quickly. The ballet stuff was interesting, and I don't even appreciate ballet. Maybe a little more, now! I think the first 4/5s of the story were much better than the last 1/5th.
Jul 03, 2009 Audrey rated it liked it
Shelves: ballet
THis book was good, but it was mising that thing that you want in a book that makes you not want to put it down. I liked the story, but i felt that the characters were under developed.
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Born June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After ...more
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