Download Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve Audiobook

Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve Audiobook, by Lenora Chu Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lenora Chu Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2017 ISBN: 9780062564887
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Combining the huge appeal of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Bringing up Bébé, and The Smartest Kids in the World, journalist Lenora Chu’s Little Soldiers explores China’s insular education system, which is held up as an international example for the academic and behavioral excellence of its students, from her perspective as an American mother living in Shanghai; initially impressed, Chu sends her son to a Chinese school, but as she investigates the methods used she begins to wonder if China’s schools are really what the West should be measuring itself against, much less emulating.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Little Soldiers is a book that will endure. 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, National Book Award–winning author of Age of Ambition

  • “I couldn’t put this book down. Little Soldiers asks us to think deeply about what we value and what we want for our children: academic success, workplace success, group achievement, individual achievement, creativity, love of learning. It’s a game changer that challenges our tendency to see education practices in black and white.”

    Madeline Levine, PhD, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The American and Chinese ways of educating children are approaching a head-on collision, begging the question ‘Which system best prepares kids for success?’ In Little Soldiers, Lenora Chu deploys her journalistic inquiry and her motherly heart to investigate the attributes that underlie this urgent question. Chu’s fascinating and important book is necessary reading for educators, parents, and anyone interested in shaping the character and capabilities of the next generation of Americans.”

    Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The lively anecdotes, scenes, and conversations that Chu relates while describing her encounters with the Chinese education system will amuse or appall Western readers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This engaging narrative is personalized by Chu’s often humorous recollections of attending American schools as the daughter of immigrants. Little Soldiers offers fascinating peeks inside the world’s largest educational system and at the future intellectual ‘soldiers’ American kids will be facing.”


  • “An informative, personal view of the Chinese and their educational system that will have many American readers cringing at the techniques used by the Chinese to create perfect students.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Lenora Chu is an American writer and journalist with degrees from Stanford and Columbia. A former contributing writer for and a broadcast correspondent with Thomson Reuters, she began her journalism career as a political reporter in the United States. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Science, the Christian Science Monitor, and on various NPR shows, including Marketplace and PRI’s The World.

About the Narrator

Emily Woo Zeller is an artist, actor, dancer, choreographer, and voice artist who has won Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2018. She began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. AudioFile magazine named her one of the Best Voices of 2013 for her work in Gulp. Other awards include the 2009 Tristen Award for Best Actress as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and the 2006 Roselyn E. Schneider Prize for Creative Achievement.