The Hybrid Tiger: Secrets of the Extraordinary Success of Asian-American Kids

Quanyu Huang. Prometheus Books (Random, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-61614-851-5
Analyzing the achievements of Asian and Asian-American students serves as a framework for a richly rewarding examination of Chinese and American culture and parenting. Huang (Quality Education in America), director of Miami University’s Asian/Asian American Studies Program, takes pains to show how and why different cultural and parenting standards produce students with different proficiencies. During China’s Imperial age, educational performance could elevate a peasant out of his status, so it is viewed as something to “win” and becomes a central family priority, whereas Americans view academic excellence as somewhat important, but not critical to a child’s well-being. In a disarmingly open style, incorporating priceless and frequently emotional anecdotes about raising his son, Yan, as well as reflections upon his own academic and familial journey in China, Huang illuminates the different attitudes towards family, society, and education that affect academic performance. Adapting the title from Amy Chua’s 2011 book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which he calls grotesque, he proposes a synergy between Chinese and American approaches that blends rigor and creativity. His recommendations are demanding (for example, create your own homework for your children), but the rewards promise to transcend the classroom. Agent: Bridget Wagner Matzie, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013
Release date: 02/11/2014
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Hardcover - 171 pages - 978-1-61614-852-2
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