June 20

‘Chinese Cinderella’ by Adeline Yen Mah

“One day, you’ll show the world what you’re made of.”

-Ye Ye, Chinese Cinderella.

 Chinese CinderellaDo you like crying?

Do you like actual true stories?

Then this is the story for you!


Chinese Cinderella is a true story by Adeline Yen Mah. This story is set in China, where we follow our main character Adeline Yen Mah and her horrible life with her family as they do horrible, horrible things to her, especially her Niang. As she tries to impress her father, her brothers and sister get jealous, beat her and hurt her.


My favourite character has to be Adeline and how she lives this horrible life, trying to be happy along the way. Turning her story into a book shows that Adeline has a lot of courage in her.


This story is full of sad and suspenseful moments and isn’t afraid of making you surprised. This book is perfect for people who like true stories and sad stories, though it should be for ages at least over 13. It’s an amazing book that you’ll surely enjoy! So next time you’re in the library make sure you look for this book. I promise you it’s not a disappointment.

Review by Analiese S., Year 8


Chinese Cinderella is a story about the author Adeline Yen Mah’s terrible childhood and how her parents and siblings treated her like she was a slave; as though she didn’t exist. In the first chapter the characters Aunt BaBa and Adeline were introduced. We also learn that Adeline’s mother had died from child birth. The Aunt had a shoe box full of memories of her mother after Adeline’s father forced everyone to get rid of photos.

Adeline’s family moved a lot but in chapter 1 the first place she lived was her birth place in Tianjin, China. Soon she moved away and lived in Shanghai with her new step mother Niang and two step siblings. Niang was a horrible French woman but the step siblings were nice and kind but sadly weren’t allowed to see the father’s side of the family. Soon Adeline had to go to boarding school for around two years and soon was rescued by Niang’s sister.

Niang is one of the main characters of the story and she is a cruel and rude woman who married Adeline’s father who was kind but now he is forced around by Niang. Adeline’s big sister was the prankster but sadly went under Niang’s spell and acted cruelly to her real family. Adeline’s three brothers are also cruel to her but Big Brother No.2 is the heartful one to Adeline and is technically the kindest one there.

I liked the story because I can just imagine how hard it could have been and how cruel the family was to them, My family is kind and playful to me showing that I have a lot.

If I were to recommend this novel to someone I would recommend it to my friend Tamara because she is very good at reading and I know she would understand the story. I would also recommend this to 12 and 13-year-old students because 10 and under wouldn’t quite understand and 14 and over might get bored of it quite easily.

Madeline W., Year 8

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Posted June 20, 2016 by marjk in category Biographies, Girls Read, Student Reviews

About the Author

Teacher-librarian at Aquinas College, Southport, Gold Coast, Australia

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