Taiba Hussain's Reviews > Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
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May 20, 12


I first read this book in year 5. It was probably my first long read. I was taken aback by how engrossed I became in little Adeline’s life. What struck me even more was the fact that the author was the little girl in the story!

The story is about Adeline’s place within her family in rural China during the 1940’s. She was often subjected to torture by her siblings and stepmother. Her father was rather displaced and rarely noticed her. Adeline had never experienced love and understanding. Her mother died whilst giving birth to her and since then Adeline was regarded as a curse.

She tried her hardest to win her father’s affections, through receiving medals at school and behaving exceptionally. However, nothing was enough. Her aunty was her small ray of sunshine, trying to protect Adeline but often finding herself in compromising positions.

Reading this at school I learnt about a number of Chinese traditions as well as about child abuse on a wider scale. This was later coupled with a number of assemblies about child protection. I would certainly use this book in upper key stage 2 as the linguistic and historical aspects would serve children’s learning well.

I don’t feel any review can give this book any justice. I just urge readers to take the time to explore this book and feel the emotions I once encountered.
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