March 20, 2023
coming of age books from Coming of Age Books

Title: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

Author: Elizabeth Foreman Lewis

Publisher: Square Fish (April 29, 2008)

Page Count: 320

ISBN #:0312380070

Publication Date: 1933


Young Fu, a thirteen-year-old farm boy, has just arrived in the big city with his mother. The untimely death of his father forces him to grow up quickly and take over responsibilities as head of household. Young Fu finds out quickly the cruel and unforgiving nature of big city life as he strives to make a place for himself. The difficult experiences he endures, and the strong friendships he builds along the way, make this a great coming of age story.


Thoughts on the book:

With the unjust death of his father by corrupt soldiers Young Fu has to grow up quickly in order to step into his father’s shoes. In the lower classes of any society, people struggle to grind out an existence. Young Fu rises to the occasion despite the cruelty and corruption he sees going on around him as well as what he has to endure himself. He carefully picks wise and kind people to befriend and learn from. The teen years are filled with struggle and searching for independence in every class of every society, but when poverty is added to the mix the pressures can become too heavy to bear. This story tells of unbearable pressure and struggle but also of incredible strength of will and sound character.

A question that came to mind while reading Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze was:

If citizens don’t rise up against corrupt leaders, are citizens just as much to blame for their own subjugation?

Favorite quote:
“No man can rule the unruly until he first rules himself.”
–Elizabeth Foreman Lewis Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

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