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Broken China Hardcover – March 1, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–China, 14, has learned to be a devoted mother after an episode of "messing around" with her best friend, Trip, resulted in her pregnancy two years earlier. Growing up in the same African-American Houston neighborhood as the characters who peopled Williams's earlier novels, China has never had an easy life, but when her daughter unexpectedly dies, she refuses to rely on any counsel except her own in coping with her heartbreak. Since her mother died years earlier, China has lived with Uncle Simon, who is wheelchair bound. When she insists upon taking a job at a strip club to pay off the baby's funeral bill, he chooses to keep their home life peaceful rather than attempting to control her actions and risk alienating her. Trip stands by her even when she denigrates his mother, refusing to accept her efforts to push him away. Williams is a master of character development and genuinely realized emotional growth. Her plotting almost boils over with big problems, but China is so compelling and engaging in her responses to situations that readers will care more about cheering her along than about the author's operatic predilections. The end of China's story isn't neat and complete, but is nonetheless satisfying. Teens with a taste for books by Connie Porter and Rita Williams-Garcia will want to get to know this teen.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA

From Booklist

Gr. 10-12. As in When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune 2000) and its sequel Shayla's Double Brown Baby Blues (2001), Williams' latest work tells a grim, unsparing story of young people in a gritty neighborhood. When her two-year-old daughter dies suddenly, 14-year-old orphan China pours her guilt and heartbreak into a lavish funeral she can't afford. To pay the enormous cost, China finds work checking coats at a strip club (permissible since her guardian has changed her legal status from a minor to an adult). China endures strong harassment (explicitly described) in exchange for the large tips until she finally understands the "gutting" costs of her decisions. Too many contrivances weaken the rambling plot (a closing conspiracy is particularly distracting), China's motivations are not well developed, and graphic scenes in the club veer toward the gratuitous. Still, what will capture and hold mature teens are the strong, colloquial voices of China and her friends; the raw, honest details of China's world; and the provocative questions: Is the separation between childhood and adulthood about more than just the loss of innocence? Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers; 1 edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689868782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689868788
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ages 14 and up. From the author of When Kambia Elaine Flew in From Neptune, Lori Aurelia Williams brings a novel dealing with a young mother's struggles and much more. China is 14 balancing going to school full time just barely hanging on and trying to raise her 2 year old daughter almost single handedly, until death is brought upon the family. China is forced to find a job that will require her to make lots of money to make ends meet. Unfortunately, her only option is Obsidian Queens, the local gentlemen's club, which is the only job they will allow a 14 year old high school dropout and that will pay big. Thus, begins her journey down a path filled with detours along the way. Will she break free from her trailing problems or will she collide head on with them?

Complete with lessons on courage, determination, youth, love, and motherhood, Ms. Williams captures China as a person every mother or daughter can relate to. Broken China is for everyone that knows a mother's love has no boundaries, a theory China proves time and time again. This tear jerking novel is sure to touch a place in the hearts of all who believe courage can mend a broken heart.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this before, but I don't get out to the library. Every one shouand read ld pick up a good book, any book for that matter and get lost in it. A good writter Such as Ms. Williams knows howhatw to do it. Ms.Williams is keen on observing w the what goes on in the world of teenagers today.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Broken China is a very sad book. This book follows a teen named China who has a baby with her best friend, Trip. Trip was always helping China out but he didn't want the baby to know him as the daddy or take the baby home. China named her daughter Amina but Trip called her Bunny. One day China dropped Amina off at her sitter's house because she was about to go to school but after a few hours of school she got a heartbreaking call....The sitter had called to say Amina died because of a high fever. So with death comes a funeral and with a funeral comes money problems. China felt so bad about the death of Amina that she picked the highest priced coffin to put her baby in. But how was she going to pay all that money? This book will take you through the trials and tribulations of what China would do to pay for her child's funeral. :) MUST READ!!

Reviewed By Tianna - Urban Teens Read
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story seem unreal and leave unhappy vibe in this story. I understand life is pure difficult to fully grab in our way. This book is lack of strong adult models to make the final words. China is still a child to fall into pregnancy,dead mother and unfortunate events in her life. This book simple confuse by giving a child too much power to make adult decision without a full developed brain about the world.The beginning was good
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