Synopses & Reviews
A fascinating book about the history and culture of China.
The history of China spans thousands of years. Journey through China in this fascinating and absorbing book: discover the land of dragons and emperors, and learn about the significance of its ancient dynasties. Countless tools and materials that people have used every day for centuries—paper, gunpowder, cast iron, matches, and silk, to name just a few—were first made in China. Chinese society has progressed through major changes, but lucky numbers, festivals, beliefs about colors, the practic of footbinding, the building of the Great Wall, and the larger-than-life people of China are all integral parts of this ancient civilization and still have an impact on life today.
Bestselling author Adeline Yen Mah explores an extraordinary view of the great story of China over the last two millennia in this nonfiction work, which also includes black-and-white photographs.
"Mah (Chinese Cinderella) brings East to West in this concise, reader-friendly history of China that contains more than 80 photographs of famous figures and artifacts. Spanning 2,000 years of strife and victories, the book mainly focuses on China's six dynasties, which are introduced in chronological order and are followed by brief portraits of post-dynasty leaders. Straightforward narrative sheds light on the rise and fall of each empire, defining leaders' accomplishments as well as their acts of tyranny. Of Qin Shi-huang, China's first emperor, Mah states: 'Hard-working and disciplined, he read 55 kilograms (120 pounds) of reports written on bamboo slips every day.' (And because he wanted Chinese history to begin with his rule: 'He ordered all books written before him to be burned. Any scholar who dared to object was buried alive.') Brief sections that explain Chinese attitudes, superstitions, inventions (including gun powder, porcelain and paper) and even the role of palace eunuchs are both entertaining and enlightening. Complete with maps, a time line, index and extensive bibliography, this accessible work will be an invaluable resource for students and young history buffs. Ages 12 up. (June) Here are some fun board book picks for summer." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Adeline Yen Mah divides her time between Los Angeles, London, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. You can visit her at www.adelineyenmah.com.