Child Bride by Ching Yeung Russell

Ching’s first book, called First Apple, won the Charlotte Award, New York State Reading Association, and the Parents’ Choice Award. Child Bride is about an 11 year old girl who is living a hard life in a small Chan village in south eastern China. Her parents have gone to Hong Kong for an extended time, leaving her with her Ah Pau (maternal grandmother). The grandmother is ill and Ying loves her very much. The book opens with the innocent child’s pleasure of flying a red kite with a friend. The kite escapes and becomes entangled in a large pine, perhaps symbolic of how Ying’s life will soon become entangled in the intrigues, politics and ambitions of adults. Soon she is summoned to visit her Ah Mah, her paternal grandmother, whom Ying is led to believe is very ill. She arrives to find a cold, demanding woman in a large house. She is sent to her room to wash and dress and finds out she is to be married off in an arranged marriage THAT DAY! What follows are her attempts to escape marriage and return to her much loved Ah Pau. She has help from unexpected quarters and often things are not what they seem or what she is told. The book provides an interesting window into life for a Chinese girl and her family in 1940’s China. For example, why would the mourners go crazy when they are told a pregnant cat is hiding in a house where a funeral is in progress? You will just have to read the book to find out!ISBN 1-56397-748-6, 131 pages plus a two page glossary of Chinese words and phrases.


About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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