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The Crystal Ribbon

The Crystal Ribbon

Book - 2017 | First edition
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After being sold as a bride to a wealthy family that treats her poorly, eleven-year-old Jing, with the help of her animal friends, runs away.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780545767033
Call Number: j LIM 2017
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 22 cm


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The Crystal Ribbon is a great book in portraying Li Jing a young girl as she gets sold off to a wealthy family at 11 years old to be the wife of their son; all so that her family can manage to scrape by with their low family income After being constantly mistreated and used as a servant to the Koh family, she is determined to escape and return to her own family. In her unpredictable adventures and in being named after the great god Huli Jing she meets many mystical strange creatures who help her on her way.

The writing for this book was very good, it really captured the tone of the story through a young protagonist. I also really enjoy the fantasy aspects of the book that make it more out of this world and not grounded to reality. It also allows one to learn more about a different culture. I give this book an 8/10



An immersive and gripping tale perfect for those with cravings for stories refreshingly different from your typical overly-obstinate heroines with a touch of history and magic.The Crystal Ribbon has captured the ache of losing everything one has ever known and having to pull together what’s left to find oneself. Celeste Lim has written a tremendously heart-wrenching piece about the pain, hardship and happiness of life during the Song Dynasty. Breathe and live through the eyes of young Li Jing as she attempts to escape the fate she has found herself in with the help of individuals from all walks of life - spiritual and not- and ultimately finds herself amidst the pain and suffering she encounters in her journey of forgiveness and acceptance. Prepare yourselves, because this one will surely touch your hearts the same way it did mine. -Liam


forbesrachel Aug 25, 2017

Li Jing has always shared a connection with her village's spiritual guardian, the Great Huli Jing. It is not something that she understands, or even claims to want, but as her life unravels, it will help her forge her own path. The Crystal Ribbon brings readers to the distant past of medieval China, where Li Jing lives with her poor family in a small village. As is expected of girls, Jing is to marry, but she never thought it would happen so soon. You can't help but feel great sympathy for Jing as she is forced to leave her family before she is ready. While Jing is a fairly sensible girl, it can be distressing to see her try to justify the horrible actions of others, even if they are accepted practices. Fortunately, she doesn't always do this. She knows that she does not deserve to be treated like a slave by her adopted family, and she knows that it isn't right to be sold to the chinglou ("courtesans"). With her determination, and some magical help, Jing does eventually find the place she belongs, but it is a downward spiral before that happens. Lim's writing breezes through the events of this girl's life, yet, there is enough detail to draw us into this semi-magical world. The true draw is Jing's voice. Lim is able to forge an emotional link between us and her character; we feel incensed at the trials she has to endure, and content when she makes choices that she feels are right. In her afterword, the author reveals why she wanted to write this book. She mentions the historical practice of tongyang xi (i.e. pre-adolescent marriage), and how, later, girls were depicted as individuals who persevered and eventually accepted their life in TV series. Lim's decision to create a character who finds happiness by leaving a life that was causing her pain, fits with what we know is right. Girls need to understand that while having the strength to endure difficulties is certainly an admirable quality, they do not need to tolerate or accept living under conditions that revoke their rights and freedom, or cause them harm. Finding contentment with one's lot, is not the same as finding happiness.

The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim took me on an adventure with breath taking views, inspiring characters, and valuable life lessons all while giving a much needed history lesson. The story is set in medieval China and the main character, Jing, is a wide eyed curious girl who was 11 when the story began. Jing’s bravery and optimism through the heartbreaking moments and realizations will enliven all readers alike. Her family was tight with money, so she was married to a toddler of a well off family as a “tongyangxi”, a practice common in pre modern China. After being treated as an outsider and slave by her new family, Jing is sold once again, this time to a brothel to be brought up as a courtesan. The rest of the story takes readers through her escape of the brothel and her journey back home. Jing goes through tremendous self growth and discovery through her seemingly unfortunate fate. Her friends both new and old all inspiringly grew along with her. By the end of the story, readers would have grown stronger in mentality just as Jing did. The Crystal ribbon is a must read as it is intriguing, exciting, and full of life lessons.

- Lisa
The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim takes place in medieval china. Jing is an intelligent young girl who lives in a village in Huanan until she was sold off to the Guo family as a bride for their three-year-old son. Jing went through many terrifying events. Bu she never once was afraid to give up. She kept going until the time was right to escape from their evil clutches. Before she can successfully escape she was sold off once again to a Chinglou. Jing managed to been in contact with auntie San and was able to escape successfully from the Chinglou with the help from Chang Er; the mingji. After the many encounters, Jing was finally back home in her village. She later kept her promise and devote herself to the Great Golden Huli Jing. I like how this book brings out true histories that actually happened during that period of time. It also brings awareness to some poorer communities that still practice the tradition of tongyang xi. The book expressed how Jing break free from those settlements, injustice and finding her true self, followed by her powerful destiny.


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