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Throwaway Daughter
Ting-xing Ye
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Throwaway Daughter

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  410 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
A dramatic and moving YA novel by Ting-xing Ye, the internationally acclaimed author of A Leaf in the Bitter Wind, working with her husband, William Bell, author of the award-winning novels for young adults Forbidden City, Zack, and Stones.
Throwaway Daughter tells the dramatic and moving story of Grace Dong-mei Parker, a typical Canadian teenager until the day she witness
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Seal Books (first published April 15th 2003)
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Mark Matthews
Jul 28, 2011 Mark Matthews rated it really liked it
If you want to tell the truth, it's best to tell it in a story. Facts are static and just get in the way. And the novel The Throwaway Daughter tells many truths about the nature of chinese adoption on both a micro and macro level. Still, it is important to remember that this is fiction, and uses all of the creative licenses as such.

If you have an investment or connection to adoption from China, I would say this is a 5 star novel. The description of the novel does not do it justice and is inaccu
Jun 01, 2014 Vinijaa rated it it was amazing
The novel Throwaway Daughter by Ting Xing Ye is about a Chinese girl adopted by Canadian parents. Grace, the main character, changes from someone who does not care about her background to someone who wants to find out who she really is. The theme of identity is explored through style and character. The author, Ting Xing Ye, does an excellent job of illustrating this theme through the perspectives of different characters. The novel begins with Grace talking about how she came to be adopted, and ...more
I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and a very interesting story. Grace Parker, now a teenager in the story, was abandoned as a new-born on the steps of a Chinese orphanage. She was adopted by a middle-class Canadian couple. Her adoptive parents do not hide the fact that she was adopted and, in fact, encourage her to learn about her culture.

As a child and young teenager, Grace has absolutely no interest in learning about her origins. In fact, she resents her parents' encouragement to do so.
Mar 30, 2013 Calvin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young adults
Recommended to Calvin by: School Librarian
This was published as a young-adult novel (it could also have been published as an adult novel). Since I was teaching at the time, I resourced the school librarian. She recommended that I read this book, because at the time I was working with students in an English as a Second Language class (E.S.L.) and needed a teaching tool that might be culturally specific to the majority of Mandarin speaking students in the class. I liked the theme and plot, also the fact that the author herself was from C ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 20, 2011 Olivia rated it really liked it
How would you feel if you were unwanted, just because you were a girl? A throwaway daughter. Ting-xing Ye tells the story of how an adopted, Chinese girl makes her way from Canada to China in search of her real parents.

Grace Dong-mei Parker was adopted at birth by a Canadian family. Throughout her life, she longs to know who her parents are and sets off on a journey to find them. Throwaway Daughter goes through everyone’s perspective of how they became parents, siblings or just acquaintances of
Jun 02, 2007 Seosaimhthin rated it liked it
Shelves: favouritesshelf
I don't give this a particularly high rating because there is better adoption text out there and this, as a fiction, has significant flaws. The beginning of the book is of the most value. We meet Grace, Chinese-Canadian adoptee. Her mother, to, in her words, 'preserve her heritage', insists on calling her Dong-Mei at home, something Grace finds annoying as she shows little interest in China and has never been. She grows up, however, when viewing the Tianamen Sq massacres on TV and, as she sudden ...more
Dec 02, 2007 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, canadian

“You can't be two people at the same time not without ending up in a mental institution. I'm not just Grace Parker. I've accepted that. I wasn't born at Soldiers' Memorial. I was unwanted by my so called real parents. That's the hard part, like a toothache that won't go away. They got rid of me.”

Grace was adopted as a very young baby and has grown up in Canada without giving much thought to her Chinese heritage. She never really saw what the “big deal” was about the Chinese culture that she was
Aug 01, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it

If you want to tell the truth, its best to tell it in a story. Facts are static and just get in the way. And the story of The Throwaway Daughter told many truths about the nature of chinese adoption on both a micro and macro level.

If you have an investment or connection to adoption from China, this is a definite 5 star novel. The description of the novel does not do it justice and is
inaccurate. Only about 40% of the novel is told form the point of view of the girl, and then young woman, adopted
Apr 20, 2012 Saralena rated it really liked it
This book is about an adopted Chinese girl, Grace, and her struggle between her Chinese heritage and the relationship with her mother. At first, Grace wants nothing to do with her past or old family, but slowly, over the years, her curiosity grows into longing and she decides to go study in China. Last minute, she decides that she wants to try and find her mother, who mysteriously dropped her off on the steps of an orphanage oh-so long ago.

I really, really enjoyed this book, most
Mar 20, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Although this novel was a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the White Pine Young Readers' Choice Award, it was a powerful, dramatic and mesmerizing story. At 295 pages, I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting in a couple of hours. This easily could have been printed as an adult fiction as well. The writing reminds me of novels by Gail Tsukiyama and Lisa See.

The author, Ting-Xing Ye, was born in Shanghai, China in 1952 and was an interpreter for the Chinese government. She lef
Crystal Allen
Jul 21, 2009 Crystal Allen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young adults
Shelves: fiction
I had never heard of this book but I saw it at the library, read the back and was intrigued. Throwaway Daughter had the potential to be SO fabulous if it had just dug a bit deeper. I loved the idea of the story. A baby girl is adopted from China and as she is growing up has no interest in her heritage. Then one day she see's the tragedies unfolding in Tiananmen Square. She wonders if her birth family is being affected by the political upheaval in China. When she graduates from highschool she ask ...more
Dec 17, 2011 Kiran rated it it was ok
"Throwaway Daughter" was a book that straight away caught my attention. The front cover and the blurb were both very appealing.

When I began to read this book I thought it was very smart how the author has used different chapters as a way of expressing different opinions of different characters in different situations. Although I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, I did find its energy died a little in the middle and found myself losing interest. Towards the end it gained a little energy
Michele Velthuizen
Nov 28, 2010 Michele Velthuizen rated it it was amazing
Interest level: 7th +
Reading level: medium
Genre: historical fiction, China, trial by fire, families

Grace Dong-Mei Parker is a Canadian-Chinese teenager who was adopted when she was very young. She decides to search for her ancestry and travels to the Chinese village where she was born and finds out that she was one of the many thousands of girls who were abandoned in China since the one-child policy was introduced in the country.

Each chapter is written from the perspective of different people -
Aug 02, 2010 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it
Dong-mei, who prefers to be called by her English name Grace, was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a Chinese orphanage. Adopted by a Canadian couple and their older daughter, she rejected her Chinese heritage in spite of their encouraging her to embrace it. Eventually, however, she travels to China in search of her roots. This was a very interesting novel, and told not only from Grace’s point of view but those of her family, including relatives in China, as well. The author was born in Shangh ...more
Jun 15, 2010 Sydney rated it really liked it
This book was great- if you can handle the harsh reality of life. Throwaway daughter is about one chinese girls quest to stray from her adopted Canadien family and find her originale family. What this young girl learns on the way is not always for the best. She learns things about herself that she never knew and about the love story gone wrong of her birth parents. Being sheilded from the chinese culture at an early age she does not know the fate of many girls, in fact she is lucky to be alive. ...more
This is the story of one of China's "throwaway daughters", a baby girl abandoned by her mother at an orphanage and adopted by a Canadian couple who have an elder daughter. The early sections of the novel which deal with Grace's difficulties in reconciling her identity are very interesting though Grace as an adult is less sharply drawn. Her background is affecting but not sentimental and I found the majority of the characters to be convincing and well drawn. Her elder sister Megan, although appea ...more
Sophie Wang
May 21, 2014 Sophie Wang rated it really liked it
Easy and light read, but it was very enlightening. A great comprehensive historical-realistic fiction about communism, coming of age, and a journey of searching for the truth. It opened my eyes to a lot of things I never really thought about, and definitely has made me more considerate of my parents! I've heard many stories, but I can't even begin to imagine what it was like to grow up in that era...
Feb 17, 2013 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in Asian or Chinese culture, this is a good read for you. Based on a true story about a Chinese-Canadian woman, this book really lets you see into the world of child adoption from China. You will also be taken into the realities of the one-child policy that exists in China today and learn of the hushed social practices that accompany this law.

Really good read - insightful, revealing, emotional. I really recommend it.
National Bestseller. It tells the story of a girl who is born in China but ends up in an orphanage becasue she was a girl. She was adoptied by a Canadian family. She then goes back years later to find her real parents. The book gives us a look into each persons reasons for "throwing away the daughter". Very nicely done.
Sonia Jarmula
Mar 04, 2011 Sonia Jarmula rated it really liked it
This book seems to have been found in a dusty attic, as a diary of remembrance. It has been dragged and tattered through lives searching mysterious answers, executing the impossible. Throwaway Daughter may be a work of fiction, but it has touched hearts in a way that shows you the impossible can be done.
Apr 01, 2011 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply written, this book focuses on the Chairman Mao nightmares.

A Chinese Saying: "Marrying off a daughter is like throwing away a bucket of water"

"Chamber-pot births" Baby daughters were disposed of in compost heaps where night soil was used to fertilize the fields.
Kate Hodson
May 23, 2013 Kate Hodson rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this much more than other similar books I have read recently. Maybe this was because there was a merger of cultures, one at least familiar. I thought it was sensitively handled (the main storyline that is) and enjoyed the various voices telling the story from their perspectives.
May 09, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria Ariwita
Nov 05, 2008 Victoria Ariwita rated it really liked it
Its about a chinese girl, adopted by western parent, live in Canada, then try to find her real parent. She was adopted as a result of China Government regulation, to avoid and abandon female children in the family. Nice on to read.
Tatiana Povoroznyuk
May 17, 2011 Tatiana Povoroznyuk rated it really liked it
This is a great book, telling the story of a girl looking to find her birth mother in China. It was wonderfully written.
May 27, 2013 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Really engaging and thought-provoking, I just really enjoyed this book. The narrative structure was an interesting one and made it seem much more human and almost painfully real.
Shonna Froebel
Jul 26, 2013 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Girl adopted in Canada from Chinese orphanage. Point of view changes from girl, to Canadian mother, to Chinese relations. Interesting growth in the girl
Apr 15, 2010 Lily added it
It was actually really intense.
Jan 24, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: asians
Recommended to Chris by: human beings
it was so sad, good booook. hello
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Ting-xing Ye, author of the best-selling memoir, A Leaf in the Bitter Wind, was born in Shanghai, China, in 1952, the fourth of five children born to a factory owner and his wife. At sixteen she was “sent down” to a prison farm during the Cultural Revolution, spending six years there before being admitted to Beijing University. She took a degree in English Literature, then began a seven year caree ...more
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