Thursday, July 24, 2008

Celebrating the Chinese Olympics with our book!

In order to follow the theme of Chinese Olympics, we'll be reading the book "The Diary of Ma Yan" by 13-year-old Ma Yan, a peasant in the drought-scarred province of Ningxia, China.

Here's a summary of the book:

In 2001, while a French journalist was visiting remote Ningxia province in northwest China, a Muslim woman wearing the white headscarf of the Hui people thrust the diaries of her daughter into his hands. The three small notebooks described the girl's struggle to get an education despite extreme poverty.

Each week Ma Yan and her younger brothers walked seven miles to school where they stayed until Friday night when they returned home. Ma Yan studied hard, but she did not feel successful unless she was number one in her class. When she didn't rank first, she was berated by her mother and made to feel guilty for her lack of effort.

While this book will not hold the interest of average readers because of its overly didactic tone, it does paint a vivid portrait of the daily life of a child in a part of the world seldom visited.

Join us for a great conversation at the Royal Ground Coffee in the Outer Richmond neighborhood on Sunday August 24 at 2pm (Geary & 17th Ave),

Get your 10% discount at BookSmith on our book when you say you're a WOW book club member!

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