CHILD BRIDE by Ching Yeung Russell


Age Range: 8 - 12
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Should a young girl follow the cultural imperatives of her society and go through with an arranged marriage, or embark upon a dangerous journey in an attempt to escape the situation? That’s the dilemma that confronts Ying, the plucky 11-year-old heroine in this suspenseful novel. Russell offers a thought-provoking glimpse of Chinese society in the 1940s, where children have no rights, but belong body and soul to their father’s family. When Ying’s wealthy, autocratic paternal grandmother informs her visiting granddaughter that she’s to be married immediately, her word is law. Ying protests’she desperately wants to return home to her beloved, ailing maternal grandmother—but her objections are brushed aside. Feeling out of options, Ying decides to flee; in the action-packed but somewhat confusing, surprisingly flat journey that follows, Ying briefly teams up with an orphan, grapples with her conniving aunt, and finds an unexpected ally in her groom-to-be. Although Russell’s characterization of the resourceful, determined Ying is solid, it’s the wealth of cultural detail, the curious facts, and vivid descriptions of a time and place governed by a specific set of underlying assumptions that will keep readers engaged. (glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-56397-748-6
Page count: 133pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1999