This was surprisingly enjoyable, given that the premise wasn t too different from DOBRY but then, I d always heard this was good I thought the atmosphere was great you really get an idea of what the streets of Chungking were like And I thought Young Fu aged very seamlessly and believably during the book I don t know anything about its accuracy appropriation cultural goodness Will have to look up this new edition with the foreword by Katherine Paterson. I have never read a Newbery Award winner that I didn t like This one was a lot different than most of them that I have read because it was published in 1932, so it has some older style writing So keep that in mind if you want to read a mindless book The book is not that hard to read, because it is a young adult book, but the style took a little bit of concentration.But let me just say this I love China I think it is the most fascinating place in the entire world Sometimes I dream in Chinese Unfortunately I only know the words for cat, American, thank you, hello, and so so as in how are you I am so so So a typical dream would be as follows Me Hello American Cat.Cat Hello American Me Cat, hello.Cat So so.Me Thank you So, perhaps the dreams are not that enlightening And they always take place on the Great Wall of China I only know the word for so so because it makes me laugh ha ha moo moo Seriously, that is what it really is How are you today Ha ha moo moo Doesn t that make you feel better just saying it You would not be so so for long We should all add it to our vocabulary, just like hell for breakfast see my review of Jubilee Trail. A Classic Newbery Award Winner, With An Introduction By Katherine Paterson And New IllustrationsWhen Young Fu Arrives With His Mother In Bustling S Chungking, All He Has Seen Of The World Is The Rural Farming Village Where He Has Grown Up He Knows Nothing Of City Life But The City, With Its Wonders And Dangers, Fascinates The Thirteen Year Old Boy, And He Sets Out To Make The Best Of What It Has To Offer Him First Published In , Young Fu Of The Upper Yangtze Was One Of The Earliest Newbery Medal Winners Although China Has Changed Since That Time, Young Fu S Experiences, Like Making Friends, Are Timeless Medicines are bitter in the mouth, but they cure sickness Tang I really have hit my stride or the right decade on Newbery books This book can best be classified as charming There are many lessons learned, lots of instances where the Asian concept of respect is so clearly different from the 2009 American one, and very good descriptions of as much as can be imagined what life might have been like in Chunking in that day The negatives of course, are due to time and cultural dating many examples of she s not important because she s a girl , and of course, the prevalent use of the word coolie As I started the book, I actually thought, isn t that a negative word , but I was never near a dictionary or computer when I thought that Each time I read a section with that in it and there were many , I thought that again Finally, now that I m done, I remembered to look it up As I thought, it s not nice now.One of the things I like about books like this is the strong mother She is very clear on what her son should and shouldn t do Her sense of right and wrong, honoring the family name, appropriate behaviors, etc., are all things that mold her young son We see this throughout the book, but none is as beautiful as the time he loses a huge amount of his mother s money to dominoes Although Tang will lend him the money, he still feels compelled to tell his mother Since Tang was helping you, it was not necessary for me to know Fu Be Be said after a long pause Why did you tell me I do not know I had to do so Young Fu s fingers picked at a small rough place on the table surface Finally, he raised his eyes to his mother s and found the other s wet with tears After a time she spoke, You have become a man overnight I can t imagine there are few prouder moments in a parent s life than when their child makes the hard choice by telling them something they didn t have to, but wanted to.I m also impressed by people who have nothing being willing to help their neighbors When Wang Scholar gets sick, Young Fu describes his symptoms to his mother When Fu Be Be heard this report, she pursed her lips Let me think a little My grandmother used a certain brewing of herbs for such weakness She moved to the chimney and took a coin from the hidden store Go to the large drug shop and buy theseShe didn t hesitate a minute to try to help She immediately took money from her own stash and sent her son to the drugist I find this in the human condition time and time again.There is much wisdom in this book From Tang s treatment of his employees, to allowing a person to learn a lesson the hard way , to the Foreign Woman to the wise neighbor Wang Scholar I ll end with him, When in trouble, silence is the best refuge Oh, and re the introduction who knew Pearl Buck grew up in China Elizabeth Lewis writes a full story, fleshed out very well in all its details and with no consideration overlooked, in this surprisingly strong early Newbery Medal winner The 1930s, in my opinion, are a wonderful stronghold of magnificent Newbery books, and I would consider Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze to be one of its most deservedly proud offerings The tenderly detailed descriptions of Young Fu s life and of the entire Chinese experience of the time period is enchanted and wonderful, and I happily lapped up every last moment of it One of the longer Newbery Medal winners, this book nevertheless holds the reader s attention very well throughout with its enlightening and adventures stories, as well as the humor and wit with which Elizabeth Lewis has liberally leavened the plot from beginning to finish Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze is a joy to read, and a joy to own. Children should be reading this Lewis masterfully combined setting, character, and action to create an exciting and memorable book The pacing and plot structure place it ahead of classics like The Dark Frigate and Adam of the Road, and even with my personal favorites Rifles for Watie and Carry On, Mr Bowditch Although it is not better than these last two, I would argue that the sentence paragraph level writing and vocabulary are accessible, and therefore Young Fu is the best option for a child of 2017.The setting is exceptional Most bildungsromans symbolize character growth through a journey that crosses different settings and different characters Lewis wisely keeps the action mainly in Chungking, and maintains a largely stable cast of characters Instead, Young Fu s development can be traced largely through his changing relationship with the city around him, with his mother, and with his mentor, Tang Not only does this create a meaningful, resonant narrative, but it also makes the book accessible to readers who struggle with prior knowledge, setting, or large casts of characters.Fans of character education will love this story Much like the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the protagonist starts off as a well intentioned, positive person who is simply immature Even good people need to grow, and Young Fu gradually learns lessons about honesty, humility, personal responsibility, and industry None of the lessons are heavy handed they all occur within a basic cause and effect framework in which good choices result in increase of self respect and the esteem of mentors, whereas bad choices result in misfortune and loss of integrity Good choices do not guarantee good fortune, but they make it likely.Like many of the aforementioned books, the plot is episodic However, it holds together better than most The development of the characters and their relationships is so strong that each episode contributes to the broader arc, and frequently rests on events that occurred in earlier episodes This type of structure would be very helpful for a reader who had difficulty with longer, complex story arcs or with disconnected, episodic narratives Again, points for accessibility.Cultural accuracy and political correctnessAn 80 year old book about China written by a western author raises some flags, but this book delivers Lewis presents scrupulously accurate descriptions of time and place, and, most importantly, describes the characters as a group of individuals with some shared culture and history but many different beliefs and attitudes At no point will you encounter generalizations such as, The Chinese are or The Chinese believe In fact, much of the last third of the book involves discussions among the characters over how to adapt to new or foreign ideas while maintaining their cultural identity.CooliesThis book uses the word coolies, which has been questioned in some reviews A few words about that term First, I strongly recommend the book Coolies, which explains that the word was used derogatorily This implies to me that it is a word that has been used offensively, and has been used in an overgeneralized way, but that it is not very offensive unto itself A similar term would be Chief, which is not offensive when used correctly, but becomes offensive when used derisively as a general term for American Indians It is clear in the book Coolies that the author s preferred term is Chinese laborer Second, a scan of the wikipedia article reveals that the word coolie is used in many cultures, with different shades of meaning, and with different levels of respect It is similar to the term Yankee, which can be a compliment in some settings and an insult in others.Third, Lewis uses the term in a way that signals the attitudes of Young Fu One of Young Fu s character issues is a sense of classism and a belief that he is above certain types of labor To this end, he looks down on the coolies A good substitution for coolie would be the word commoner or even peasant Lewis does something similar by having Fu voice some sexist comments that are hard to take seriously and serve to show the immaturity of his character.PinyinReaders should be aware that this was written before the advent of the pinyin convention of romanizing Chinese characters Therefore, the city we know as Beijing is called Peking and the city that is today called Chongqing is called Chungking in the book.Recommended for grade 5 and up. So far, this is definitely my favorite of the old Newberys, winning the award in 1933.Set in China in the 1920 s, the book combines worthwhile themes with very memorable characters with some Chinese history and culture, and even adds some sophisticated wry humor to the mix I feared midway that Young Fu was too good actually, too blessed my term to be believable, and was glad that I was wrong Likewise, my favorite character, Tang, is almost too wise to be real, but the bitterness that he had to eat the Chinese term in his youth could well have made him so Tang s mentoring in honesty, pride, and hard work is invaluable to Young Fu much of the gentle humor in the book comes from interactions between the two a wonderful way for a mentor to be.The book is listed for grades fourth through eighth, but I would recommend the middle school years for some of its events The two violent scenes are handled appropriately, and are necessary to give Young Fu s adopted city of Chungking realism.China in the 21st century is so very different from the China of Young Fu s time, yet some of its seeds can be found in this Newbery. I thought I would blast through this, considering that its a kid s book It was a bit laborious at times, though I think this is mainly due to the fact that it was written in 1932, and the manner of speaking was true to the culture it just didn t always flow easily, but I think writing it otherwise would sacrifice too much My having to read it only a few pages at a time did not help Not my favorite, but overall it was enjoyable. Given the year this book was written, it s a decent story Compared with other Newberys of that period, that is I m glad I read it only 2 Newbery winners to go but I wouldn t read it again Always these foreigners must hurry, remarked the coppersmith They waste good time studying their watches They hasten to earn money and hasten to spend it Why then trouble to gain it Careful spending increases riches Shall I teach the Ancient Wisdom to one who wishes to use it only for the earning of money Knowest thou not that the treasure of knowledge is to be revered for itself alone It has been given that men might learn how to live, not to win fortune What is fortune without wisdom Safety lies in distance from the scene of calamity Character is made by rising above one s misfortunes There are several kinds of foreigners, as there are of Middle Kingdom men Some have good hearts Some I like so little I care not who kills them But to declare that they have brought all of the evils from which this land suffers, is the talk of fools Regarding gambling He who rides on a tiger cannot dismount when he pleases No man is entirely devoid of goodness, and the princely man is tolerant of other men s weaknesses One day followed another with no lightening of the tension Every person in the place was aware of the undercurrent of trouble At midday rice, talk was desultory Tsu s smart quips were few in number Tang was forever lost in his own thoughts Young Fu, suspicious of every word or look, fancied that Lu singled him out for harshness the accountant made sly insinuations that caused the youth to burn with indignation In the course of time, men s motives may be seen Jealousy is a strong passion for a youth to conquer Life s ways were strange He, for no apparent reason, had one stroke of luck after the other Lu, an innocent, hard working soul, had been caught by ill fortune in a net of worry and disgrace No task into which a man puts his heart is too bad For the lazy, all work is difficult. This book shows a Chinese community on the eve of communism The author portrays the city through the eyes of a young coppersmith apprentice I enjoyed the adventures and the dialogue I liked that the book did not go into detail on foot binding I ve already read a graphic portrayal of that process and don t want to ever read about it again I was curious to see how religion played a role in their lives before communism wiped out all religious displays It appears from this book s account that the common people were blind sided by communism They didn t pay attention to politics because they had no voice and so it took them by surprise It s grip is still tightly wrapped around all the affairs of the Chinese people and just like the US tax code it will probably let go very reluctantly.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze book, this is one of the most wanted Elizabeth Foreman Lewis author readers around the world.
- 302 pages
- Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze
- Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
- 05 May 2017 Elizabeth Foreman Lewis