Cover Image: The Paper Daughters of Chinatown

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown

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Member Reviews

I read the original book and was touched and heartbroken for the paper daughters of Chinatown. It was an eye opener of the horrors of human trafficking.

This story is also touching. I loved the focus on Tien Fu Wu. The book begins with her as a child in China. It follows her through the horrors of being sold into slavery, the abuse she suffered, and finally the amazing woman she became. This book is for young readers, the abuse is briefly mentioned without going into detail.

This book is inspiring. It focuses on love and a determination to help others. I loved the characters. Tien Fu Wu's development takes time but her transformation is amazing. Donaldina Cameron takes a back seat in this adaptation. Her love and determination are a focus in this book and how kindness can change a heart.

I highly recommend this book to all age groups. It does mention sensitive circumstances in passing without detail.

I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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Loved the original novel! Even though it cut many of the original scenes, I found it to be a very faithful edition. I like how it depicted Chinese culture. The book was also simple to read and very poignant! I recommend this for fans of In the Tunnel, I am Kavi, and The Bonesetter’s Daughter!
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Thanks so much for allowing me to review this book.
Unfortunately it wasn’t quite for me, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to review this title and I hope to work with you in the future!
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Me gusto muchísimo. Últimamente estoy leyendo muchos libros de este tipo y logro captar mi atención por completo
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It's hard to describe how this book makes you feel. It really makes you reevaluate how you look at minority demographics and even women/girls as a whole.
The fact that this was based off of a true story!! They always fascinate me the most as I find they can show the true heartache of stories and people aren't bored by reading a history book.

The book and the issues/incidences it tackled were thoroughly researched and detailed. I found it a very enjoyable and informative read

Thank you to Netgalley for a free e-arc of.this book
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This book was exactly what I was looking for. I loved the cultural tie-ins and how the book managed to be culturally competent. This was an interesting plot. I love reading books that are solely based off really life cultures and their challenges. Great read!
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I thought this book was really good. I loved the original story that was written for adults, so I was interested in seeing how the author would adapt it for a younger audience. I thought the authors did a great job of sharing about a hard topic in a way that younger readers could understand. I liked how the authors wrote the story so that you saw from two people’s perspective. I thought they did a good job of keeping the feeling of the original story while making it appropriated for younger readers. I thought this was very well done.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
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The Paper Daughters of Chinatown: Adapted for Young Readers by Heather B. Moore and Allison Hong Merrill is a gripping historical novel based on a true story. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the late 1890s, the book follows the journey of two friends who come together to rescue immigrant women and girls from a life of exploitation.

The story begins with Tai Choi, a young girl from the Zhejiang province of China who is deceived by her father and sold to pay off his debts. Sent to San Francisco, Tai Choi is forced to assume a new identity as Tien Fu Wu and becomes a servant. Her life is filled with hardship, as she is expected to stay hidden, remain silent, and perform endless chores under the threat of punishment or being sold again. However, everything changes when she is rescued by the women at the Occidental Mission Home for Girls.

Enter Dolly Cameron, a sewing teacher who arrives in San Francisco and becomes acquainted with Tien Fu. Initially resistant to trust and defiant in nature, Tien Fu gradually opens up to Dolly. Together, they discover that all the girls at the mission home have been freed from servitude and abuse, motivating them to help others in similar situations.

The authors beautifully depict the challenges faced by Tien Fu and Dolly as they work towards the freedom of enslaved immigrant women and girls. Their friendship blossoms, and they become mentors and advocates for those in the mission home. The novel explores themes of resilience, trust, and the power of friendship.

Overall, The Paper Daughters of Chinatown is a compelling and inspiring read. It sheds light on an important historical period and the courageous efforts of individuals to fight against injustice. Moore and Merrill’s adaptation for young readers makes this story accessible and engaging. I highly recommend this book to both young readers and adults alike.

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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Teen friendly version of the adult classic, it is the same story just written in a way that will be friendly to teens.
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This whole book was very solid and I was able to learn a lot more about Chinese/Chinese-American History. 

Overall I really enjoyed it.
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Content warning- human trafficking, child abuse, physical abuse, mentions of sexual assault. 

A rarely discussed topic of American history, The Paper Daughters of Chinatown shares the history of young women and girls trafficked into the United States (especially California) to pay off debts of their parents and to be used in different forms of slavery. This book tackles topics of colonization, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia, yet also shows strong female characters that continue to fight to protect themselves and their futures.
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A tale of a girl, who like Joseph of Egypt, finds her purpose in a foreign land. I quite enjoyed this inspiring tale of Tien Fu Wu overcoming her own adversity to help others.
I've read the original The Paper Daughters of Chinatown and love the Young Readers Edition. Not only is the material adapted for a younger audience, but the point of view is primarily that of Tien Fu Wu, as a young girl. She was one of my favorite characters in the original and she shines brightly in this edition.
This dealt with the heavy topic(s) of human trafficking, slavery, and prostitution. None of the details were graphic and I would rate this PG for the topics mentioned. I would recommend this to readers of most ages who are interested in inspiring historical fiction rooted in fact.
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Adapted from the best-selling adult novel, this YA version shifts the focus from the white, real-life crusader, Donaldina (Dolly) Cameron, and the young Chinese women forced into prostitution, to Tien Fu Wu, one of the Chinese “paper-daughters” Cameron aided. At the end of the nineteenth century, six-year-old Tien Fu was sold by her debt-ridden father. With other Chinese girls she was shipped to San Francisco, trained to pass immigration as a “paper-daughter,” then sold and re-sold into domestic slavery. Well researched and horrifying, the fictionalized story of real-life enslaved girls is intrinsically engaging. Moore and Merrill have made the subject appropriate for upper middle grade and high school readers. The brutality, sexual violence, and drug use inherent to human-trafficking appears briefly, is referred to, or occurs outside the frame of the narrative. Despite some clunky writing, this eye-opening story of female resilience and bravery is full of human interest and is especially relevant to Bay Area residents. Historic and fictional characters are clearly delineated. A timeline precedes the narrative. Back matter includes Questions & Answers, Selected Bibliography, and Recommended Reading. Thanks to Shadow Mountain and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an unbiased review.
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Another part of the story, from a different point of view. This story follows the children's side of the slave trade in the late 1800's, in San Francisco. As a child Tien Fu is traded and sold from one master to another, like an object. The bartering is done right in front of her, no care for her emotions. Until the day she is rescued. She must learn to trust people and work to help save other girls just like her.
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This was a very lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I bit young, obviously, but I think age and reading levels are truly a more subjective thing. The writing was lovely, creating an easy reading experience, but I would say the pacing of the plot was a bit slow for my personal taste. 
Overall, I'd say more of a 3.5 rating.
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Content Warning: human trafficking, abuse, prostitution, slavery, drug

This is a book for more mature students, high school vs young middle school, since it touches on human trafficking and abuse. Tai Choi, at age six thinks she is on her way to visit her grandma, but is sold to pay off her father's debt. Dolly, a white 27 year old woman, starts teaching the girls sewing and through getting to know the girls starts to help rescue them. Based on a true story, this is the YA companion to the adult version of the book.
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Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain for accepting my request to read and review The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. 

Published:  04/11/23
Genre: Children's Fiction | Teens & YA

Heartbreaking.  The story was rewritten from an adult book to teen/young adult. Personally, I don't believe I could have read the adult version.  

This is the water-downed story.  The pieces are there without gorey details.  It is enough to know a child was slapped for no reason.  The abuses are insinuated and for that I'm grateful.  

Little girls are sold into slavery to pay off their father's debts.  For one child, her father's love for extracurricular betting was higher than any feeling towards her.  If my understanding is correct, they are Paper Daughters.  No,  that is not bad enough, mother does more than nothing -- she keeps having human beings.  The girls are never returned.  

The story follows one tiny child and the paths she is thrown onto.  

Another book that makes me ashamed to be human.  This will stay with me the rest of my life.  I am too emotionally impacted to write more.
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things that made me give this book a 3.75 stars was the lack of tension I felt when Dolly, the interpreter, and some police officers would go on rescue missions, usually in the middle of the night. The characters kept mentioning the danger they were in, but it didn’t feel that way at all. It always seemed like they were able to stroll into the places and were met with little resistance and not a huge amount of danger. I felt more tension when members of the tong and previous owners would show up to the mission house and everyone who did not have the proper paperwork yet would have to go down into the basement. There was also a useless romantic plot in the middle that may have been real but it wasn’t necessary.
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4.5 stars, rounded up

I was intrigued to see how Moore would adapt her original version of this story into one for younger readers. I was surprised to see that she choose a co-author to do it with. I'm not sure how each author contributed to the storyline, but, for the most part, everything was pretty seamless in the flow of the book. There were a few repetitions and some tiny gaps of unexplained things, things maybe teenagers wouldn't necessarily pick up on as missing, but I felt there were some assumptions of parts of the story that weren't explained as thoroughly as in the original. Overall, however, I really enjoyed this version for young readers and value the importance of telling this part of history and how it relates to the human trafficking that is still going on today, just without the racial aspect of it. I highly recommend this book. In the book, the authors list a Q&A for more information about the time period and the real-life characters. There is also mention of a teacher's guide available on the publisher's website for ways to incorporate this book into lesson plans. Bravo! Such a great idea! This version of the book chooses to focus less on Donaldina Cameron, the fierce protector of these young paper daughters, and more on Tien Fu Wu, one of the spirited girls who was sold into slavery by her father to pay off his gambling debts. What these Chinese women and girls went through is incomprehensible and heartbreaking, but Moore and her co-author Merrill do a great service to them by their strong portrayal of their courage and determination to overcome their trials, as well as the portrayal of the women and men who helped them. 

Content:  Clean; appropriate for teens, even younger ones. The heavy subject matter is dealt with in a very light manner bgut still portraying the importance of this lesson and the truth of what happened to these girls and the multiple harsh situations they were forced into.
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I read this adaptation for the novel The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. I was familiar with the story because I had read the version for adult.s The story flows well but has a lot of information and facts that were well researcher about this time. I love that my kids can read this book and learn about this time in history.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a historical novel.
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