Press:Harpercollins HarperCollins; Tra edition (May 31, 2005)
Author Name:Ma, Yan/ Haski, Pierre (EDT)/ Appignanesi, Lisa (TRN)
Wednesday, November 7My father gave me and my brother a little money.
My stomach is all twisted up with hunger, but I don't want to spend the money on anything as frivolous as food.
Because it's money my parents earn with their sweat and blood.
I have to study well so that I won't ever again be tortured by hunger.
.In a drought-stricken corner of rural China, an education can be the difference between a life of crushing poverty and the chance for a better future.
But money is scarce, and the low wages paid for backbreaking work aren't always enough to pay school fees.Ma Yan's heart-wrenching, honest diary chronicles her struggle to escape hardship and bring prosperity to her family through her persistent, sometimes desperate, attempts to continue her schooling.
First published in France in 2002, the diary of ma yan created an outpouring of support for this courageous teenager and others like her -- support that led to the creation of an international organization dedicated to helping these children .
all because of one ordinary girl's extraordinary diary.
"I want to go to school, Mother.
How wonderful it would be if I could go to school forever!" Thirteen-year-old Ma Yan, a peasant in the drought-scarred province of Ningxia, China, evidently scrawled this message in frustration at having to work in the fields.
According to a preface, Ma Yan's mother passed her daughter's plea to visiting French journalist Haski, along with journals documenting about nine months of Ma Yan's life.
Haski published them in France and established a charity to assist similarly impoverished Ningxia students, to which Ma Yan has since promised 25 percent of her royalties.
Some adults may be troubled by the diary's odd provenance and the purposeful annotations framing Ma Yan's rather meandering reflections.
Nonetheless, the affecting story, extended with photos of Ma Yan and her family, will push readers to a new understanding of the hardscrabble existence endured by many, even as her brooding reflections ("My moods go up and down") underscore how much teens everywhere have in common.
Some captions and photos not seen.
Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
“Heartbreakingly inspirational.” (AsianWeek)“Will push readers to a new understanding of the hardscrabble existence endured by many .
[and] underscore how much teens everywhere have in common.” (ALA Booklist)“Paint[s] a vivid portrait of the daily life of a child in a part of the world seldom visited.” (School Library Journal)“Affecting.
Will open youngster’s eyes.” (Publishers Weekly)“Young readers are likely to rally in support of a peer’s struggle.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)“A compelling, heartbreaking story of poverty, deprivation, and hope.” (Vancouver Sun)
About the Author
Ma Yan is a teenager from Ningxia, China.
She was thirteen and fourteen when she wrote these diary entries.
Now sixteen, Ma Yan hopes to attend a university: "I want to study journalism," says Ma Yan.
"My purpose is to keep the whole world informed, to report the poverty and real life in this area."Pierre Haski is the French journalist who first published extracts from Ma Yan's diary.
He was instrumental in establishing The Association for the Children of Ningxia, a fund that pays for the schooling of children like Ma Yan.
Children's Books,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Difficult Discussions,Homelessness & Poverty,Geography & Cultures,Explore the World,Asia,Friendship, Social Skills & School Life,School
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