My Asian- american wife recalled this book fondly from her childhood so I ordered it for our children. I read the negative reviews with some trepidation, however. Couldn't be more off base. People complain the book is racist/sexist but the girl in the book is strong, independent and resourceful. Of course Chinese society at that time was very patriarchal and classist, but Mei Li stands as an example of how people could still forge their own path.