A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it...Amy Chua's daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) were polite, ...
A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it...Amy Chua's daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) were polite, interesting and helpful, they were two years ahead of their classmates in maths and had exceptional musical abilities. But Sophia and Lulu were never allowed to attend a sleepover, be in a school play, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, and not be the #1 student in every subject (except gym and drama). And they had to practice their instruments for hours every day, as well as in school breaks and on family holidays. The Chinese-parenting model certainly seemed to produce results. But what happens when you do not tolerate disobedience and are confronted by a screaming child who would sooner freeze outside in the cold than be forced to play the piano? In Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua relates her experiences raising her children the 'Chinese way', and how dutiful, patient Sophia flourished under the regime and how tenacious, hot-tempered Lulu rebelled. It is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It's also about Mozart and Mendelssohn, the piano and the violin, and how they made it to Carnegie Hall. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old. Witty, entertaining and provocative, this is a unique and important book that will transform your perspective of parenting forever.
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I was interested to see what all the hype was about and very curious to read this story. It started out very engaging and I could very well relate to what she was saying growing up in an Asian home myself. But the whole story revolves around her obsession with getting her children to practice music which 1) you get tired of even reading about and 2) really feel bad for the children. She tries to redeem herself in the end by saying how her children appreciate her for pushing them so hard but I can't imagine what the children lost in the process. She defines that giving her children this hard discipline leads to happiness in the Chinese sense which I don't agree. Success does not mean happiness and the way she ended her story was weak, as if she had to come to conclusion as to how she chose to raise her children to justify her doing it in this way.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-05-02 Considering the polarizing controversy her book has engendered, Chua comes across as surprisingly likable and engaging in her audiobook. Her narration and the text make it clear that while she vaunts her strict, "Chinese parenting," she is aware how and when she went too far. Her voice toggles between firm and self-righteous (this is her "earlier self" talking) and self-deprecation: she pokes fun at her extremism, muttering grumpily, "I didn't see what was so funny!" when her husband laughs at her insistence that he have big ambitions for not only their daughters but also the family dog. Chua's voice softens with doubt and questioning as she wonders how her daughters will look back at their childhoods, and she acknowledges that it's still a struggle for her to relinquish control. A thought-provoking and engaging listen. A Penguin Press hardcover. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2010-11-15 Chua (Day of Empire) imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child's phenomenal success: the Chinese mother. Chua promotes what has traditionally worked very well in raising children: strict, Old World, uncompromising values-and the parents don't have to be Chinese. What they are, however, are different from what she sees as indulgent and permissive Western parents: stressing academic performance above all, never accepting a mediocre grade, insisting on drilling and practice, and instilling respect for authority. Chua and her Jewish husband (both are professors at Yale Law) raised two girls, and her account of their formative years achieving amazing success in school and music performance proves both a model and a cautionary tale. Sophia, the eldest, was dutiful and diligent, leapfrogging over her peers in academics and as a Suzuki piano student; Lulu was also gifted, but defiant, who excelled at the violin but eventually balked at her mother's pushing. Chua's efforts "not to raise a soft, entitled child" will strike American readers as a little scary-removing her children from school for extra practice, public shaming and insults, equating Western parenting with failure-but the results, she claims somewhat glibly in this frank, unapologetic report card, "were hard to quarrel with." (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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