Authors & Asia: Lenora Chu on "Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve"

Left: "Little Soldiers" (2017), Right: Lenora Chu (Michael D’Ambrosia)
Left: "Little Soldiers" (2017), Right: Lenora Chu (Michael D’Ambrosia)

Please note that this program takes place off-site at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77005.

In Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve, journalist and parent Lenora Chu offers a rare glimpse inside China’s insular education system and uses her parenting journey to launch a wider investigation into whether its educational methods are something to which the West should aspire. “We’d moved across the Pacific Ocean to escape the American parenting rat race, only to land squarely in the Chinese equivalent,” Chu writes. “I wondered about the contradictions I was sensing: Was the obedience I observed in my son Rainey part of the Chinese secret to academic success? Were Chinese schools pumping out robots as the critics say, or was China’s education system really superior? Although the world seemed to hail China’s march towards global superstardom, are Chinese methods what the West should measure itself against, much less emulate?”

This program is presented in collaboration with Brazos Bookstore. Pre-order Lenora Chu's book from their website.


The New York Times: A Parent Confronts Conformity in the Classrooms of China

CBS News: What U.S. classrooms can learn from China's "grit" in education

The Washington Post: Lessons in learning: Mao, a piñata and a 3-year-old American in Shanghai

Quartz: What American kids can learn from Chinese schools about real “grit”

Praise for Little Soliders

"Whip smart, hilariously funny and shocking—sure to generate much debate. A must-read for anyone seriously interested in the best way to educate, support, and inspire our children.”
AMY CHUA, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Triple Package

"With honesty and a terrific sense of humor, Lenora Chu has produced not only an intimate portrait of raising a family far from home but also the most lucid and grounded account of modern Chinese education that I’ve ever seen. She brilliantly tests our notions of success and creativity, grit and talent, and never shrinks from her conclusions."
EVAN OSNOS, New Yorker staff writer and National Book Award-winning author of Age of Ambition

"As Lenora Chu takes us along on her own adventure in parenting, she affords us, not only an insider’s view of China, but an exploration of people- and society-making at its most foundational. Riveting, provocative and unflinchingly candid, Little Soldiers is a must-read for parents, educators, and global citizens alike."
GISH JEN, author of Girl at the Baggage Claim, Tiger Writing, the Love Wife

“Lenora Chu, a gifted journalist, has written a fascinating comparison of the U.S. and Shanghai education systems. Little Soldiers offers important insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each. There is much to be learned here about the elements of a better education system for the 21st century.”
TONY WAGNER, Expert in Residence, Harvard University Innovation Lab and author of The Global Achievement Gap and Creating Innovators

About the Author

Lenora Chu is an American journalist and writer living in Shanghai, China. Her first book, Little Soldiers: An American Boy, A Chinese School and the Global Race to Achieve, will be published by HarperCollins in September 2017. It tells the story of China’s education system through the perspective of an American mother and journalist.

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Event Details

Wed 27 Sep 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

2421 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005

Free with RSVP.
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