I would give this memoir 3 1/2 stars if available. It was better written than many memoirs, especially in the first half of the book. Ying Ma was born in China and lived there until the fifth grade. Her life seemed to be normal for a child. She went to school and had friends and enjoyed her family. Only certain events marred a wonderful childhood. The author tells about the time the teacher forces all the students to confess their misdeeds and if they couldn't think of anything to report, then they should tattle on their classmates. This was a technique the Chinese government used to gather information and reinforce their authority.The second half of the book concentrates on her time in America. Her family ends up in a poor section of Oakland, CA. She relates the abuse she received from the black community and her frustration because the Asians would not fight back. The writer's bitterness comes through. She and her family took advantage of the system to get a good education. (They used a relative's address to register for another school. This didn't seem honest to me.) The writer also seems to glory in profanity and sprinkled the last half with it. This seemed gratuitous and unnecessary.Overall, the book was a fast and enjoyable read. I especially fascinated with the contrast of Chinese society and American society.