Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Teen Book Club - February

The TBC met tonight to discuss Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah.

A riveting memoir of a girl's painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s. A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In Chinese Cinderella , Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for -- the love and understanding of her family.

 Here are the discussion questions we used:

  1. What did you think of the book in general?
  2. Why did Adeline's family have some negative feelings about her?  How do her siblings act toward her?
  3. What was Niang/Jean (Adeline's stepmother) like?  Why do you think she acts the way she does?
  4. How does Adeline feel about school throughout the book?  What does going to school mean for her?
  5. Who was PLT?  What happened with PLT and why did it upset Adeline so much?
  6. How does Adeline's father feel about her?  Why do you think he feels this way?
  7. Who are the people who support Adeline at different times throughout her childhood?
  8. What did you learn about Chinese history from reading this book?
  9. Did you enjoy reading nonfiction?  Would you want to read more nonfiction like this?  (memoirs/biographies)
  10. Ratings and final thoughts!
 Melanie gave it an 8/10 and said "It really opened my eyes to what sad things happen in the world, and it was amazing to see this girl still had hope."
MissG gave it an 8/10 and said "A totally riveting story of an unhappy childhood, but so inspiring to see this girl still work hard and never give up."

For March we are reading a graphic novel!

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki
NausicaƤ , a gentle but strong-willed, young princess, has an empathic bond with the giant insects that evolved as a result of the ecosystem's destruction. Growing up in the Valley of the Wind, she learned to read the soul of the wind and navigates the skies in her glider. NausicaƤ and her allies struggle to create peace between kingdoms torn apart by war, battling over the last of the world's precious natural resources.

Our meeting will be on Wednesday, March 19th at 6:00pm.

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