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Comment: Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book has a small amount of wear visible on the binding, cover, pages. Selection as wide as the Mississippi.
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Bound Library Binding – July 10, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Library Binding, July 10, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5-9–Napoli takes the elements of the traditional Chinese version of "Cinderella" and creates a powerful and moving story. Xing Xing is left to the mercy of her stepmother after the death of her father. Focusing on a good marriage for her own big-footed daughter, the woman binds the poor girl's feet even though she is past the usual age for this painful procedure. Xing Xing's only pleasure is her daily contact with a beautiful white carp in the pond where she draws water. To her, the fish seems to be the spirit of her mother helping her endure her difficult life. When the stepmother kills it, the girl is devastated, but she retrieves the bones from the garbage heap and, in the process of hiding them, discovers a green silk gown and gold slippers that belonged to her mother. Dressed in this rich garb, Xing Xing goes to the festival where she loses one slipper in her effort to escape detection. The slipper is eventually bought by an unconventional prince; when he finally finds its owner, Xing Xing considers her options and decides to marry him. Napoli retains the pattern of the traditional Chinese tale with only a few minor changes: she sets the story in the northern province of Shaanxi during the Ming dynasty rather than in a minority community in southern China. She fleshes out and enriches the story with well-rounded characters and with accurate information about a specific time and place in Chinese history; the result is a dramatic and masterful retelling.–Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-12. Drawing from traditional Chinese Cinderella stories, Napoli sets this tale in a small village during China's Ming period. Since her beloved father's death, Xing Xing has become "hardly more than a slave," serving her acrimonious stepmother and pitiable stepsister, Wei Ping, whose botched, bloody foot binding has left her perilously unwell. A dangerous trip in search of medicine for Wei Ping brings Xing Xing into the wider world, but she returns to find home more treacherous than before. Napoli creates strong, unforgettable characters--particularly talented, sympathetic Xing Xing--and her haunting, sometimes violent tale amplifies themes from well-known Western Cinderella stories, making them fascinating questions: Could ancestors serve as "fairy godmothers"? In a society that so grossly undervalues females, what does "happily ever after" really mean? Teens and teachers will want to discuss the layered themes of freedom, captivity, love, human rights, and creative endeavor within this powerful survival story, which, like the yin and yang forces Xing Xing thinks about, balances between terror and tenderness, and is both subversive and rooted in tradition. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-07-10; Reprint edition (July 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439511470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439511473
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,301,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Fourteen-year-old Xing Xing lives in ancient China and her life is literally "bound". Bound by the old traditions of China where she must become the servant of her stepmother after her father's death. Bound by the injustice and ill treatment of women. Bound to remain a servant the rest of her life and be neglected by society. Bound to never find a husband because she has no parents to arrange her a suitable marriage. Xing Xing spends her days being a slave girl to her half-sister Wei Ping who is also bound, but in a different way. Wei Ping has her feet cruelly bound to make them small, a tradition in China, that symbolizes wealth and elegantness, a painful compulsory act if a girl is going to marry into the high society. Xing Xing however does not complain about her role in the family and secretly feeds her passion of and gift of poetry and calligraphy. She secretly dreams of a different life of freedom, a life that seems so far away, that is until the village has its annual festival, a big celebration in which Xing Xing's stepmother hopes to find a husband for Wei Ping. Things are going to change however and greed in the end might threaten all that Xing Xing has built up for herself.

I am a Chinese-American and I really did feel this book lived up to my expectations and the Chinese Cinderella myth that is was based on. Life in Ancient China was not easy for women and the bound feet was something that my great-great-grandma had to go through too and it was a terrible experience for her. I have become a fan of Donna Jo Napoli after her book Daughter of Venice and Bound lived up to everything I'd hoped for. A definite recommendation!
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Format: Hardcover
This is not your familiar, comfortable Cinderella story. There are no magic wands or pumpkin coaches, and happily ever after happens only in, well, fairy tales. Real life offers few of these sugar spun fantasies, particularly for three unsupported women in a Ming dynasty Chinese village. Fourteen year old Xing Xing, her stepmother, and her half-sister Wei Ping are each bound: socially, ideologically, and financially. The physical, crippling binding of Wei Ping's feet is a metaphor for an encompassing system of patriarchal privilege. But in another sense of the word, to be bound is also to be heading towards something-- not so much a fate, as a rare and precious choice of fates.

That freedom of choice is the greatest of presents from Xing Xing's dead mother. She may (or may not) be incarnated as a giant white and red carp, in a pond near the potter's cave in which the three women continue to live with increasing poverty after the death of Xing Xing's father. The orphaned Xing Xing lives on her stepmother's charity, such as it is, as a virtual slave. Life isn't all bad, of course. Xing Xing finds joy in writing calligraphy and poetry into the sky, in visiting the beautiful carp, in the beauty of a painted pottery shard, and in the green dress and very special pair of slippers her mother secretly left behind for her.

These four women-- Xing Xing, her dead mother, Stepmother, and Wei Ping-- and their relationships to each other are at the heart of the story. Napoli redraws Stepmother as an understandable, if not likable, figure who behaves as she does for very good reasons: ideology, jealousy, and an anxiety for Wei Ping's and her own wellbeing, for which she is willing to sacrifice Xing Xing's.
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By Lyn on November 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was VERY excited to see that a new book had come out by Donna Jo Napoli. I love many of her books. My favorite is Zel, and Sirena is also very good. Bound is a very excellent book and I am very pleased with it, especially because it was better than Beast, which i personally thought could have been a bit better.

Bound is based on the Chinese version of Cinderella. I loved how it was filled with details about life in ancient China, and it was very interesting to learn more about the tradition of girls having their feet bound to make them smaller. The only small complaint I have with this book is that the end seems a bit rushed, but I really loved how the whole book was filled with Xing Xing's daily life. I especially was fascinated with Xing Xing's crazy stepmother. The book IS expensive, but i suggest you buy it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cinderella has always been one of my favorite fairy tales ever since I was a child. When I heard that this particular author Napoli was a master of the fairy tale retelling genre I wanted to read her version of the tale. now as an English major when I had the opportunity to do so in a literary theory class I did more research on the tale. I am familiar with the 9th century source material of ancient China that the book was based on. Now I do know that the source material is very short much shorter than the 16th century French rendition that most people are familiar with but this book was just a case of trying too hard.
What I mean is that the author tried too hard to expand the source material to force it into a novel form. What she ended up accomplishing is turning one of my favorite tales into mundane drudgery. I felt like nothing of particular significance ever happened in this story to advance the plot. it could have been great and honestly more people deserve to know what the original tale of Cinderella is like so it should have been great. to put it simply it was bland and I hope others have, or will attempt to do a retelling that is more closely inspired by the 9th century tale. Someone who is capable of bringing it to life.
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