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In a Chinese-inspired "Cinderella" tale for young readers, Xing Xing lives a hard life under the oppressive rule of Stepmother and Sister until one magical night when she attends the annual festival in disguise and meets a prince whose love for her changes everything.
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Donna Jo Napoli is an acclaimed and award-winning author of children's books. She won the Golden Kite Award for Stones in Water in 1997. Her novel Zel was named an American Bookseller Association Pick of the List, a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a BCCB Blue Ribbon, and a School Library Journal Best Book, and a number of her other novels have been selected as ALA Best Books. Her recent picture books include The Earth Shook and Mama Miti. Donna Jo is the head of the linguistics department at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and their children. You can visit her online at donnajonapoli.comFrom School Library Journal:
Starred Review. Grade 5-9–Napoli takes the elements of the traditional Chinese version of "Cinderella" and creates a powerful and moving story. Xing Xing is left to the mercy of her stepmother after the death of her father. Focusing on a good marriage for her own big-footed daughter, the woman binds the poor girl's feet even though she is past the usual age for this painful procedure. Xing Xing's only pleasure is her daily contact with a beautiful white carp in the pond where she draws water. To her, the fish seems to be the spirit of her mother helping her endure her difficult life. When the stepmother kills it, the girl is devastated, but she retrieves the bones from the garbage heap and, in the process of hiding them, discovers a green silk gown and gold slippers that belonged to her mother. Dressed in this rich garb, Xing Xing goes to the festival where she loses one slipper in her effort to escape detection. The slipper is eventually bought by an unconventional prince; when he finally finds its owner, Xing Xing considers her options and decides to marry him. Napoli retains the pattern of the traditional Chinese tale with only a few minor changes: she sets the story in the northern province of Shaanxi during the Ming dynasty rather than in a minority community in southern China. She fleshes out and enriches the story with well-rounded characters and with accurate information about a specific time and place in Chinese history; the result is a dramatic and masterful retelling.–Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
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Book Description Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0689861753
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