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Lensey Namioka
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Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,627 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
Third Sister in the Tao family, Ailin has watched her two older sisters having their feet bound. In China in 1911, all girls of good families follow this ancient practice, which is also an extremely painful one. Ailin loves to run away from her governess and play games with her male cousins. Knowing she will never run again once her feet are bound, she refuses to follow th ...more
Published October 2000 by Demco Media (first published January 1st 1999)
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Julie S.
This young Chinese girl decides that she did not want to have her feet painfully bound, going against tradition. This novel takes us through her struggles and accomplishments that come as a result of this choice.

The main character was strong, so I found myself rooting for her quite early in the book. It is always nice to see strong female characters.

It was very interesting to see a book that dealt with Chinese culture without mocking it or being over-awed at it. This seemed to look at it through
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break
By: Paige Y.
The title of my book is Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka. This book is definitely something worth reading, and I recommend this to anyone who loves reading historical fiction. The three main reasons I would recommend this book is one it gives the reader a different perspective of religion and how unreasonable or harsh it may be. Two, it is a very moving story with lots of detail that make it easy to follow. Three, it is very inspiring b
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break
By: Jessica L
The title of my book is Ties That Bind, Ties That Break. This book is written by Lensey Namioka. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction. The three main reasons why I would recommend this book are that the book was very emotional and moving, there were many adventures and struggles the characters go though, and lastly the storyline was very inspiring.
A very emotional time in the book was when the father of the main chara
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Lipko
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, history
This book represents many things that I love about Young Adult fiction. There is depth of feeling, a large coming of age component, and a seriousness about the subject matter that is relative to all generations.

The setting is China in 1917 when there were incredibly strict social and cultural rules of tradition.
Wise beyond her age, high-spirited, spunky and stubborn five year old Allin is a member of a wealthy family wherein marriages are arranged according to socioeconomic standards.

The Tao fam
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This book is about the foot bindings in ancient China. Long ago when a girl was still very young she would have her foot bound. Foot binding was a tradition that crippled girls, but small feet was considered fashionable. If your feet were unbound you were looked down upon since only girls who were farmers or very poor had unbound feet. With unbound feet you were garanteed to not make a good marriage. In this book it tells the story of a girl named Tao Ailin who refused to have her feet bound. Ta ...more
W.H. Beck
Ailin, the third daughter of a wealthy Chinese family in Nanjing in 1911, is smart, headstrong, and slightly spoiled. When she is five, she fights at having her feet bound. Her mother and grandmother are horrified, while her older sister is sympathetic. Her father surprises them all.

"Ailin doesn't have to have her feet bound if she doesn't want it."

"She's too young to understand the consequences," said Mother.

"But I understand the consequences," said Father.

Indeed, her father does understand th
Jaylin Saunders
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book. I honestly dont see much wrong with the book. Maybe at the end there could have been something telling about what with her friends and family and how their future turned out for them. If you want a book where it is "Man vs. Society" then this book is for you.
Sophie Kaster
This book was not my favorite of all of the books I have read. I got bored while reading it and it was hard for me to read. Not because it was too advanced and hard to comprehend, just because it was boring. This book was about a girl who didn't get her feet bound. If you didn't know footbinding is when you break your toes and other foot bones to make them be very small. The reason for this is to show you are going to be married. Since she did not get her foot bound it led to some different prob ...more
Danielle DuPuis
I really enjoyed this one - quick read, but I wish there was more. I was completely absorbed in the story of Ailin and how she defies her family's wishes of having her feet bound. Her father sides with her and eventually allows her to attend public school and learn English. Her mother and grandmother think of her as a disgrace for not having her feet bound, but thankfully she is supported by her father until he isn't able to support her anymore (I don't want to give away too much here). Her stor ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book! This is the story of Ailin growing up in China in the time when foot binding was common and women were seen as a liability to their families. By being spoiled by her father, Ailin was lucky enough to avoid the foot binding but then must deal with the consequences of not conforming to traditions. Her marriage arrangement is broken by his family and she is shunned and ridiculed by many people in her country. Ailin's spirit and will carries her through life until she finds a p ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this.
I knew that foot-binding was a fashionable Chinese tradition for women, much like corsets, but I didn't really realize quite how disturbing and popular it was.
This book gave me so much insight on Chinese culture and traditions.
The main character really had some girl power!
I was disturbed a lot in this book and it highlights a lot of Chinese societies' problems, but also societies' problems in general.
It also showed the importance of change.
All in all the book was really g
Dana Olbrantz
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I thought it might be a cool supplementary book to our unit on Ancient China. This story details the life of a girl caught in the era between dynasties and the republic. Important references throughout to various elements of a dynamic and storied culture up though the Qing dynasty. I loved following all of the internal struggles our main character had in embracing her ancestry but also being true to herself, a conflict that many can relate to. Great read for tweens and teens.
Sarah F
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this with an advanced ESL class. I would not say that it is in any way a work of art; if anything, it's poorly written, all the characters two-dimensional, and the plot thin and at times confusing. However, my students (mostly Chinese) found it accessible and they certainly had plenty to say during discussions about the topics in the story. I don't even want to have to read it again, but I would use it again for class.
Maria E.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2017
I enjoyed this book. I loved getting to know more about Chinese history and the terrible practice of foot binding. I loved how a strong, bold little girl rebelled and was able to see that it was an injustice that women should be subjected to the submission and physical pain that foot binding causes and was willing to work extra hard to revolt and change the ways of her culture.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This incredibly short book packs a huge punch. While it was historical fiction talking about foot binding in china, the writing was so good it felt like I was reading a real memoir. I really loved this.
Hunter Spuntak
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a excellent book for a younger teenager like myself

I recommend this book to truly anyone who knows good books
It was also a great learning experience for me to learn about how they use to do it in China.

One of the high school AK Battle of the Books selections. I read this on the recommendation of my daughter. Historical fiction about a young Chinese girl who resisted old traditions and bravely fought to create her own destiny.
Ashley Coberly
Good story with interesting characters. My nine and seven year olds really enjoyed it. I had some problems with a 4 year old having such strong opinions about foot binding. Other than that was a good book
An introduction to an interesting practice, I remember reading as a tween and becoming obsessed with the history and culture of binding feet. Great read for something different!
Kellie Alley
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an easy read. It's one of those books that make you wonder what your life would be like if you lived in the book's time period. How would you have felt?
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am rating this for what it promised and how it delivered. It was succinct and delivered what it promised, and more, somehow. Not a bad read at all.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing of this book isn't the most impressive but I found the historical content really interesting and I love the insights that can be taken from it.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Abigail Mukanda
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was awesome and fast-paced! Second reading. Both forms I read were in audio.
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was interesting and really good.
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Destiny Chamard

Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

Ties That Bind, Ties That Break, is a book about a young girl named Ailin. Ailin lived in a small town called Nanjing. She had lived in with her family in one big house hold. Her Mother, 1st Sister and 2nd sister, Big Uncle, Father, and her grandmother. Although, in the book Ailin's father and grandmother had passed away because they got very sick. When both Ailin's father and grandmother had passed away, the new chief of the house was Big Uncle. B
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Namioka was born in Beijing, the daughter of linguist Yuenren Chao and physician Buwei Yang Chao. The family moved often in China. In 1937, the Chaos were living in Nanjing, and fled westward in the face of the Japanese Invasion. They eventually made their way to Hawaii, then Cambridge, Massachusetts. Namioka attended grade school in Cambridge and excelled at mathematics.

Namioka attended Universit
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“She’ll be five soon,’’ said Mother. ‘‘Most girls have it done even earlier. When Mrs. Liu saw Ailin the other day, she was shocked that her feet were still unbound. She also remarked on how spirited Ailin was. In other words, she found her spoiled and uncontrollable. Having Ailin’s feet bound would stop her from running around like a boy.’’ I looked at Little Brother, who was tottering up to a pot of chrysanthemums. In a few years he would be able to run around just like my cousins. Why was it all right for boys to run around but not for me? Father sighed. ‘‘Why can’t we wait a few years before deciding on the match with the Lius? I’ve never been keen on these early engagements.’’ He smiled. ‘‘Our marriage wasn’t arranged until you were fourteen, and it hasn’t turned out so badly, has it?” 1 likes
“Then I carefully dipped my brush and wrote the characters for family, country, and book. When the examiner smiled, I knew he liked my work, so I decided to write the hardest character I knew, which was the one for virtue. It took fifteen strokes.” 0 likes
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