In May of 2001, the diary of a fourteen-year-old Chinese girl named Ma Yan was thrust into the hands of a foreign journalist by her desperate, illiterate mother. The family lived in a drought-stricken corner of rural China where education is the only hope for escaping a life of crushing poverty. Ma Yan was struggling to stay in school, but her family could not afford the fees. Published in Europe, the diary produced an outpouring of support that led to the creation of an international fund for the education of Ma Yan and other poor children in her remote village...all due to one young girl's honest, accessible, heart-wrenching diary.
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