Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

Synopsis: Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

            Chinese Cinderella, by Adeline Yen Mah, creates a heart wrenching story about a girl who is left as an outcast and unwanted child that is treated unethically by not only the people around her, but also her family.  This story is set in China in the 1940’s and 50's, whilst WW II is taking place. As an unwanted child, Jung-ling – as her family calls her, meaning 4th sister/daughter – is ignored by her family, especially her Stepmother, Niang, who shuns Jung-ling and treats her poorly. Even though she wins many prizes at school, and recives perfect notes, they do not seem to make up for what is truly missing from her life: "the love and understanding of her family."

Excerpt: Chinese Cinderella page 3

        "Your mother came down with a high fever three days after you were born. She died when you were two weeks old..." She hesitated for a moment, then exclaimed suddenly, "How dirty your hands are! Have you been playing in the sandbox at school again? Go wash them at once! Then come back and do your homework!"
        I did as I was told. Though I was only four years old, I understood I should not ask Aunt Baba too many questions about my dead mama. Big Sister once told me, "Aunt Baba and Mama used to be best friends. A long time ago, they worked together in a bank in Shanghai owned by our grandaunt, the youngest sister of Grandfather Ye Ye. But then Mama died giving birth to you. Id you had not been born, Mama would still be alive. She died because of you. You are bad luck."