A great insight into China and how families were effected after the cultural revolution.It contains a lot of historical information in an interesting way.It is an emotional book, that takes you on a journey with the author.Really enjoyed this book and I couldn t put it down I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good read. The true story of a poor Chinese peasant boy who, plucked unsuspectingly at the age of ten from millions of others across the land to be trained as a ballet dancer, turned the situation to his advantage to become one of the world s greatest ballet starsSimply told, with charm, humour and compassion and at times, great drama His childhood, despite the terrible hardships, is drawn with love and affection and contrasts starkly with the seven lonely years of gruelling training at the Peking Dance Academy At the age of l, Li performs at the Houston Ballet school in the US, which leads to his dramatic defectionThis is a condensed edition, specially for younger readers, and has an Afterword especially for children For anyone with a love of dance and an interest in social history this is a must read It tells of the harsh conditions endured by millions in China during Mao s revolution, and of the determination to succeed of a young peasant boy and his eventual defection and success. This book was chosen to read by our book club I would not have chosen the book myself, but I was pleasantly surprised The story is about a boy born into a peasant s family in China where poverty, hard labour in the fields and starvation were the norm, and growing up under Mao s regime He is chosen from many thousands of school children to attend Madame Mao s ballet school at the age of eleven, where he eventually realises that this is his opportunity to be something other than a peasant farmer.I would definitely recommend this book. I bought it as a gift I read it years ago when it was first published Inspirational true story, though I realise that it will mostly be of interest to balletomanes. This book gave such an incredible insight to China under Mao and how it crushed the country this story is just about one who made it to the west, but keeping his love for China alive and bringing fame to ballet in China A beautifully honest and simply written account of a lucky yong boy, who succeeded beyond expectation due to his own, as well as imposed determination Historically relevant, this ought to be on the school curriculum One glaring omission, was the lack of mention of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre I think I know why he left that out Read the book and decide for yourself This is one that really should be made into a carefully treated movie a fringe movie perhaps Certainly nothing main stream style than the direction of Scumdog. A very moving autobiography, one of the best I have ever read An emotional journey with the author all the way through Couldn t put it down. A lovely book Have lent to many friends and they have all enjoyed it Unwitting evidence of the Cultural Revolution. I gave up half way as I found the voice difficult to engage with and discovered that my attention had wandered on than one occasion.