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Ting-xing Ye

Ting-xing Ye was born in Shanghai. She earned a degree in English literature from Beijing University. Prior to coming to Canada in 1987 as a visiting scholar at York University, Ye worked as an English interpreter for the Chinese government. Ye lived in Orillia, Ontario with her partner William Bell (1945-2016).

Fiction (Juvenile/YA)

Mountain Girl, River Girl: A Novel

Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2008.

Publisher’s Synopsis

[This is] the story of Pan-pan and Shui-lian, two teenage girls born miles apart in rural China. Driven by dreams of adventure and of an escape from poverty and isolation, each girl makes the difficult decision to leave home for a better life. Pan-pan, quiet and determined, leaves the mountain village and heads for Beijing, while Shui-lian, the fiery and rebellious “river girl,” sets her sights on Shanghai.
Beset by unimagined challenges and perils, their dreams unravelling, they happen upon each other and form a deep friendship …

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

Share the Sky

Art by Suzane Langlois.
Toronto: Annick Press, 1999.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Share the Sky tells the story of a young girl, Fei-fei, who must leave her home in China and join her parents in North America. She looks forward to the reunion, but the thought of a new country with strange people and customs is scary and a little overwhelming. Imagine her joy when she discovers that her love of flying kites high in the sky is shared on the other side of the world.

Awards and Honours

The Year’s Best List (Resource Links)

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

Three Monks, No Water

Art by Harvey Chan.
Toronto: Annick Press, 1997.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In Three Monks, No Water, each monk believes that the other two should be responsible for fetching water, until a fire at the temple inspires co-operation and insight.

Awards and Honours

Outstanding From a Learning Perspective Honor (Parent’s Council)

Fiction (Juvenile, Novel)

Throwaway Daughter

With William Bell.
Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2003.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Abandoned on the steps of a Chinese orphanage and adopted by a Canadian family, Grace Parker is haunted by the cold fact that she was unwanted, and she spurns her Chinese heritage–until the day she witnesses, on television, the massacre of student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Thus begins Grace’s personal journey, a quest that takes her to China in search of her birth parents, and leads to a discovery that will change her life forever.

Awards and Honours

2004 White Pine Award–Ontario Library Association (Nominated)

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

Weighing the Elephant

Art by Suzane Langlois.
Toronto: Annick Press, 1998.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

[This] is an original tale that presents a riddle to challenge young readers: how do you weigh an elephant?

Awards and Honours

1998? Honor Title (Storytelling World)
1998? Mr Christie Book Award (Finalist)

Fiction (Juvenile, Chapter book)

White Lily

Illustrations by Bernadette Lau.
Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2000.
Toronto: Seal Books, 2003.

Synopsis (From author’s website)

White Lily is the tale of a Qing Dynasty girl who tries to rebel against the ancient custom of foot binding.

Awards and Honours

2001-02 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award — English fiction (Shortlist)
2002 Rocky Mountain Children’s Choice Award (Winner)
2004 Golden Oak Award–Ontario Library Association(Nominated)

Anthology (Memoir, Juvenile)

Ye, Ting-Xing. “Permission to Work.” In Piece by Piece: Stories About Fitting Into Canada, edited by Teresa Toten. Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2010, 163-174.

Non-fiction (Memoir)

A Leaf in the Bitter Wind: A Memoir

Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1997.
HN733.5 .Y42 1997

Non-fiction (Memoir, Juvenile)

My Name is Number 4: A True Story

Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2007.
DS779.29 .Y4 A3 2007

Abridgement of A Leaf in the Bitter Wind.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Here is the true story of fourteen-year-old Ting-xing’s tumultuous life turned upside down by China’s Cultural Revolution. After the death of both her parents, Ting-xing and her four siblings endure the brutality of Red Guard attacks on their schools and even their house as they struggle against poverty and hunger. At sixteen, Ting-xing is exiled to a prison farm far from home.

Book cover of The Chinese Thought of It

Non-fiction (Juvenile)

The Chinese Thought of It: Amazing Inventions and Innovations

Toronto: Annick Press, 2009.


Ting-xing Ye personal website. Read here a FAQ on Throwaway Daughter.

Publisher Annick Press; Teacher’s Guides available from this site.

Publisher Penguin Canada (Puffin Books)

Publisher Random House (Doubleday Canada)