Homesick: My Own Story
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This is the twenty-fifth anniversary of Jean Fritz’s award-winning account of her life in China, and to honor this story, it is only fitting that it be added to our prestigious line of Puffin Modern Classics. This fictionalized autobiography tells the heartwarming story of a little girl growing up in an unfamiliar place. While other girls her age were enjoying their childhood in America, Jean Fritz was in China in the midst of political unrest. Jean Fritz tells her captivating story of the difficulties of living in a unfamiliar country at such a difficult time.
that was the end of that. My father was lucky, but at the same time he had many Chinese friends, even among the coolies. Some of his friends were for the Communists, some were against, but my father had made up his mind not to take sides. He worked in the Y.M.C.A. so he could help those Chinese who needed help in whatever way they needed it. Occasionally there were riots. The first time the riot siren blew, we were eating supper. My father, who was a member of the riot squad (organized to help
My father sighed as if he wished Lin Nai-Nai had kept still. “The doctor thinks that is going to be all right.” “Can I see her?” “Not for a day or two.” My father lay down on the sofa and fell right to sleep. The next day I stayed glued to the Bobbsey Twins. I was glad that there were so many books. I was glad that I didn’t have to worry about how any of them would turn out. When my father came back from the hospital, I kept my finger in my place. “How is she?” I asked. “She’s doing all
my sister. Someday, I thought, she’d have a load on her back too. “Listen,” I told her, “I don’t care what your name is, I just want you to know that I’m not going to worry about your being good. And don’t expect too much of me either. We’re together, remember. We’re sisters.” I could hardly wait for her to understand. My life took on a pattern now. Since I could never stay long at the hospital, there was a lot of time to fill up. Mrs. Jordan introduced me to some other children, and when I
all. The rest of them might go to America. She didn’t know when but she was ready. She had learned the Charleston. Why would Andrea want to learn the Charleston? I wondered. That was a flapper thing to do and Andrea was only in eighth grade. I asked my mother about it. “Andrea has always been old for her age,” my mother pointed out. “She even looks older than she is.” (That was true.) “And in Shanghai, Americans are crazy to keep up with American fads. They don’t want to fall behind.” Well, I
right off their long-legged stilts and swept down the river. But today the river was fairly low and the mud had dried so that it was cracked and cakey. Most of the men who lived here were out fishing, some not far from the shore, poling their sampans through the shallow water. Only a few people were on the flats: a man cleaning fish on a flat rock at the water’s edge, a woman spreading clothes on the dirt to dry, a few small children. But behind the huts was something I had never seen before.