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China: Land of Dragons and Emperors

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A fascinating book about the history and culture of China.

The history of China spans thousands of years. Journey through China in this fascinating and absorbing book: discover the land of dragons and emperors, and learn about the significance of its ancient dynasties. Countless tools and materials that people have used every day for centuries—paper, gunpowder, cast iron, m
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Teen/YA Non-fiction
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 274)
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Candy Mickelson
This books is a very interesting young adult non-fiction book about China. It is very informative, but Yen Mah tends to take the standard history book approach and focus on imperial history and writes little about the everyday people. She states at the beginning of the book that China recorded history more precisely than other countries such as those in Europe, but she only seems to use that of the Emperors, which doesn't seem very impressive for the records, because most royalty information is ...more
Heidi
Aug 13, 2009 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Upper primary and lower secondary
I processed this book into the library collection last week but never really considered reading it until this year when the students began working on an Ancient China assignment and our collection was coming up rather short. Mah's book was catalogued as modern Chinese history, and I wanted to work out whether it was miscatalogued, and whether it could be helpful to kids in their ancient China assignment.

It is a *very* basic introduction to Chinese history; very much an overview. It (allied with
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Erin Reilly-Sanders
I really enjoyed this brief little history of China. I felt that the topics and people it focused within the different time periods were relevant, interesting, and consequently well-chosen. I would have really liked more constructed visuals that imparted information like more maps over time, city maps, buildings,and something that showed how long each dynasty lasted since the numbers are hard to relate to each other. While I really appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the book (nice size, good ...more
Heidi
Mah, author of the memoirs, Falling Leaves and Chinese Cinderella, has attempted to span 2200 years of CHinese history in this one small book. Without a doubt, she succeeds, as she draws the readers into the world of silk, warlords, and dynasties. The text is well organized, mainly by dynasty, and anecdotal information is describe on pages printed with gray scrolls. Black and white photos, illustrations, and maps supplement the text. One item which detracted from the book was the lack of paginat ...more
Jinbin
In this book, Adeline Yen Mah leads the readers thousands of years back to the history of China. She starts the book telling the story of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. In chronological order, she goes on with the dynasties following the first and their significant roles in China's history. From this book, I learned that the Chinese first invented matches, paper, gunpowder and many other tools that people used. However, they were not smart enough to greatly utilize those tools. For exampl ...more
Melissa
This book blew me away. It think it was mostly the scope and subject that was so fascinating (though clean, clear writing helps). I honestly can't believe how little I've known about Chinese history. It was a "Hey, listen to this," sort of book for me. Some of those emperors was downright brutal. I even found myself ranting out of the blue at a family party about the heartless British opium trade. I only regret that much of this information was so new to me that I've already forgotten a great de ...more
Kristi
Fantastically depicted history of China, informative and enjoyable without really feeling like you were in a classroom. I’m not really sure how to go about reviewing this novel, since I don’t usually review nonfiction. I can’t judge characters or plot..... since there aren’t any.

I’m not usually a nonfiction fan, but I actually enjoyed reading this one. It didn’t take me too long and it was actually interesting. The novel breaks down the book by Dynastys and explains what happened during that pe
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Shirley Lee
fabulous summary of the what's most important in China's history. would definitely recommend this book for someone who has little knowledge of the dynasties. most importantly, it's not boring or dense but indicates the importance of the 6 major dynasties. a lot of other books, list all the dynasties and it's way too confusing and complicated to comprehend especially with over 5000 years of history involved. what inventions did the chinese made? paper, wheelbarrow, crossbow, matches, silk, seismo ...more
Kathy
Great little book on Chinese history. I was amazed how much was packed into this little book. A great introduction to the most populous country in the world. Interesting stories, interesting pictures, well-done. The only fault I find with the book is what some others have said: The textual editing is atrocious! The text is right- and left-justified, but sometimesyouendupwithalinewithnospacesatall! I highly recommend the book, however, for the content.
Emily
Finished this book as a light reading in attempt to reconnect myself with my ancestry. The book was, honestly, a little dry but with interesting little nuggets smuggled in between. Very concise and easy to understand, but is not enough to feed the curious mind of a history student. It prompted me to re-watch Princess Pearl (Huanzhu Princess) series and taken my interest on old imperial chinese culture a little deeper. Refreshing.
Jana
Informative and quite educational, this really helped a lot with some of my confusion about China's history and made me more curious to get a history book that would tackle this subject more thoroughly. Though I have to add, the edition I read was riddled with errors—thankfully, not typographical, but just the spacing wherethewordswouldgolikethis for some reason: a small error, to be sure, but annoying, nonetheless.
Heather
This book was fascinating and made me want to learn more. My only complaint has nothing to do with the author or the book, but with the copy editor. The tracking in multiple lines throughout the book was so overly condensed that words blended together and were hard to read. Very annoying, especially because the book itself is top-notch.
Sajid Hakeem
A Beautiful book. Recommended for all history lovers
Crystal
I remember buying this book from book club back in primary school and I absolutely loved it, as there was few books written about Chinese history was written in English for a primary school kid to understand (or at least what I could find at the local library). So this was book was great!
Rick
Frequently too simple and far too rushed... but what do you expect from trying to cram thousands of years of some of the richest history of any culture on earth into a couple hundred pages of a tiny book?
Susan
Fascinating. Concisely written. Historical facts about China, her dynasties, culture, technology, and trade. Plan on reading this a second time so I can remember more of it.
Kaethe
I'm reading some of this aloud, and the KitKatPandaBatWolf is also reading this to herself. She would like everyone to know that she thinks its great.
Cori
This book was SO interesting. The author summarizes Chineses history from the beginning of emperors to current. I loved it. I was fascinated.
Lori
Very good book for an interesting overview of Chinese history. It tells China's story without getting bogged down in dates, etc.
Kristina Leonard
Took me forever to read, but ultimately an interesting young-adultish history of China.
Pip
lots of great information about China, a bit dense, may be a bit dry for kids
Mark
I enjoyed the brief history and the proverbs
Snow
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Rick
Rick marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
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Juju marked it as to-read
Dec 01, 2014
Eva
Eva marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2014
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Adeline Yen Mah (Chinese: Yen Jun-ling; Pinyin: Mǎ Yán Jūnlíng; Yale (Cantonese): ma5 yim4 gwan1 ling4) (official birthday 30th November 1937, however real birthday not known, this is in fact her father's birthday) is a Chinese-American author and physician. She grew up in Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong with an older sister, Lydia; three older brothers, Gregory, Edgar and James and a younger half ...more
More about Adeline Yen Mah...
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