Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis


Book Summary

When Young Fu arrives in Chunking in the 1920s, he must adjust to city life quickly. He becomes an apprentice to a coppersmith, in order to learn a trade and earn enough to support his mother.  His adventures include encounters with soldiers, thieves, and his own mistakes.
Young Fu book cover
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

Book Review

This book shares many similarities with A Single Shard, although it is a bit more episodic. The protagonist does have a clear character arc, and his mistakes and ambitions offer avenues for interesting discussions.

While the content may be appropriate for most upper elementary readers, the language and complexities of this time period in China may be challenging for some students to tackle on their own. This book is an excellent choice to study and discuss with small groups, particularly with concurrent study of Chinese traditions, or units related to the arts and apprenticeships.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Perseverance, Hard Work
  • Apprenticeships - Coppersmithing
  • Self-Sufficiency; Survival
  • Growing Up

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions Coming Soon**

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