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Namioka, Lensey.
New York: Delacorte Press, 1999
ISBN 0385326661

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

An easy to read culturally authentic book.  A subject I knew about, but was very intriguing.  Your students will like this especially your Chinese girls students. What would it be like to have your feet bound?  A tradition done for over 1000 years.  What if you went against your culture and decided you absolutely would not do it.  That is exactly what Ailin decides to do. In turn this changes her Upper-class life in early 20th century China.  To find out about this tradition and what happens to Ailin you must read "Ties That Bind, Ties That Break" by Lensey Namioka.

This was a fairly quick read and very interesting.  I think this is a well kept secret. (Karen Womack <>)

Booktalk #2

Headstrong Third Sister of the Tao family, Ailin, refuses to have her feet bound. In 1911, the painful and crippling custom was expected of well bred young Chinese gentlewomen, who would then marry well, bear sons, and idle away their final years. Because Ailin insists on being able to run freely, the more traditional family of the young boy to whom she would have been married abruptly breaks off their engagement. Ailin's loving father, who senses that Ailin will have to care for herself one day, sends her to school.  However, her father's health is fragile, and when he passes away, the new family patriarch is Ailin's less tolerant Big Uncle, who withdraws Ailin from school. Is Ailin's future to be only a menial servant or perhaps a peasant's wife? Can Ailin forge her own destiny, one in which she meets the future without having to deform her own body?  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)

SUBJECTS:     China -- Fiction
                        Sex role -- Fiction
                        Individuality -- Fiction.


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