Friday, April 13, 2012

Warriors and Wailers by Sarah Tsiang

Sarah Tsiang offers an interesting view into ancient China through the jobs one could hold during that time. She starts with a brief explanation of Chinese Dynasties and the overall feel for the country. Written for juvenile readers, Warriors and Wailers breaks down the culture through jobs from Emperor to Philosopher to Robber. It’s a unique view into a culture. I didn’t realize how many jobs women did hold over the years and that education was important long ago. I liked that a child of a poor farmer could raise up their status with an education and the civil service test. This is a difficult book to review but I enjoyed it. The information was new to me and opened up a mysterious culture for me. We neglect to realize how our jobs not only define ourselves but our society around us. This is a good book for upper grade school or middle school. It’s short segments with lots of illustrations but the material is slightly mature for a young reader. There is information on women’s roles and how they shaped the country. There’s talk about war and violence but in a very educational platform. China has a very gory past but it’s prettied up here.

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