Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve by Lenora Chu

Into the Wild

Read Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve Online Free - In the spirit of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Bringing up Bébé, and The Smartest Kids in the World, a hard-hitting exploration of China’s widely acclaimed yet insular education system—held up as a model of academic and behavioral excellence—that raises important questions for the future of American parenting and education.

When American mom Lenora Chu moved to China with her little boy, she faced a tough decision. China produced some of the world’s top academic achievers, and just down the street from her home in Shanghai was THE school, as far as elite Chinese were concerned. Should Lenora entrust her rambunctious young son to the system?

So began Rainey’s immersion in one of the most radical school systems on the planet. Almost immediately, the three-year-old began to develop surprising powers of concentration, became proficient in early math, and learned to obey his teachers’ every command. Yet Lenora also noticed disturbing new behaviors: Where he used to scribble and explore, Rainey grew obsessed with staying inside the lines. He became fearful of authority figures, and also developed a habit of obeisance outside of school. “If you want me to do it, I’ll do it,” he told a stranger who’d asked whether he liked to sing.

What was happening behind closed classroom doors? Driven by parental anxiety, Lenora embarked on a journalistic mission to discover: What price do the Chinese pay to produce their “smart” kids? How hard should the rest of us work to stay ahead of the global curve? And, ultimately, is China’s school system one the West should emulate?

She pulls the curtain back on a military-like education system, in which even the youngest kids submit to high-stakes tests, and parents are crippled by the pressure to compete (and sometimes to pay bribes). Yet, as mother-and-son reach new milestones, Lenora uncovers surprising nuggets of wisdom, such as the upside of student shame, how competition can motivate achievement, and why a cultural belief in hard work over innate talent gives the Chinese an advantage.

Lively and intimate, beautifully written and reported, Little Soldiers challenges our assumptions and asks us to reconsider the true value and purpose of education.

Title : Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062367870
Edition Language : English
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 368 pages


Jean rated it ★★★★☆

October 09, 2017

The author is born in Philadelphia and raised in Houston. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in journalism. Her grandparents fled China during the Cultural Revolution and immigrated to the United States. Chu notes the irony that 50 years ago Mao conducted his anti-intellectual p...

Nancy rated it ★★★★☆

October 16, 2017

I am struggling with writing this review because I have so many thoughts about the ideas presented in this book. First of all, I found the first hand account of the author's experience to be fascinating and well written. The author is first generation American of Chinese descent, educated in Texa...

Angela rated it ★★★★☆

August 02, 2017

Many Westerners probably have a vague idea about the rigors of Chinese education, but this book sheds light on the system from a personal level, which makes the read that much more engaging. The author focuses on the system first by detailing her own (American) son's experiences in Chinese early...

Shana rated it ★★★☆☆

September 06, 2017

***I received an ARC of this book through a GoodReads giveaway*** Approaching this book from the perspective of someone with some pre-existing understandings of the educational styles in East Asia, I found Little Soldiers to be both readable and relatable. Although the Japanese schooling system is...

Lynn rated it ★★★★☆

October 11, 2017

I was given a copy of this book by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. Today's post is on Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve by Lenora Chu. It is 368 pages long and is published by Harper Collins. The cover is white with sharpened pencil...

Susan rated it ★★★★★

October 16, 2017

I’m not a perfect parent. And I’m not an expert in education. Years ago when I was first divorced and raising my toddler as a single a mother, I didn’t speak Mandarin to him even though he spent his first two years hearing it from his grandparents (for the first year) and his father (until I left...

Ingrid rated it ★★★★★

October 04, 2017

Loved it! I started this book with a preconception what Chinese schools must be like: authoritarian, group focused, and a obsession with studying and memorization that produced automatons devoid of critical thinking skills. The author's personal experience (from an American perspective) at the co...

SibylM rated it ★★★★☆

August 31, 2017

I won a free copy of this book from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway and an honest review was requested. This book is truly fascinating and I think a must-read for anyone interested in education. The author, an American woman of Chinese descent living in China, does a terrific job of interwe...

Jen rated it ★★★★★

September 21, 2017

Little Soldiers is an insiders look at Shanghai elementary schools, through the lens of an American. The first part of the book is about the authors experience putting her son in preschool. I was enthralled with what I was reading...children threatened by the teachers, children made to sit perfec...

Sara rated it ★★★☆☆

October 07, 2017

I picked up this book having a fair amount of knowledge about education in China and direct experience with education in Japan. There were no surprises for me here and I think that any educator can benefit from reading about how a different culture educates their children. Reading this book will...

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