Obsessed with prestigious U.S. universities, middle-class Chinese parents have made Harvard Girl a best-seller, reports the Boston Globe. Other books on raising “high-quality children” include Stanford’s Silver Bullet, Yale Girl and Creed of Harvard.
“Harvard Girl,” written by the parents of one of the first Chinese undergraduates to enter the university on a full scholarship, chronicled Liu Yiting’s methodical upbringing, which the book says instilled the discipline and diligence necessary for academic success. The tome has a place in many urban households with high school-age children, and new parents receive the book as a present from family and friends.
All the parents’ hopes rest on their only child.
Liu’s parents challenged the young girl to hold ice in her hands for as long as she could bear it to improve her endurance and made her jump rope every day for increasingly longer periods until she won a school contest.
They put toys out of her grasp when she was a baby to make her work harder for them, timed the girl’s studies to the minute as soon as she entered elementary school and made her do school work in the noisiest part of the house to develop her ability to concentrate.
Liu was graduated from Harvard in 2003 with a degree in applied math and economics; she works at a New York investment firm. Last year, 484 Chinese students applied to Harvard; five were admitted.