Lenora Chu is an American writer and journalist. She has worked as a television correspondent for Thomson Reuters and media consultant to universities and the private sector; her articles have appeared in CNNMoney, The New York Times, Science, Christian Science Monitor, and on National Public Radio programs. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Shanghai with her husband Rob Schmitz, National Public Radio’s Shanghai correspondent, and their two sons.
Her acclaimed book, Little Soldiers, is a compelling and witty enquiry into the differences between Western and Chinese models of education. The Chinese way of education is often described in stereotypes: It is said to produce either the “world’s best students” or, on the flip side, “rote-learners with no creativity.” When Lenora Chu moved from California to Shanghai with her young son in 2010, China’s students were outranking Western kids in mathematics, reading, and science. Using her book as the basis for a provocative session, Lenora chronicles her journalistic inquiry into Chinese education and parenting, and educators’ longstanding desire to fix what’s broken. In doing so, Lenora asks us to re-examine notions of grit and talent and a radically different driver of creativity and innovation.
Published by HarperCollins, Little Soldiers won the 2017 Nautilus Award and the ASJA’s top 2018 nonfiction prize and was shortlisted for Stanford Libraries’ Saroyan International Prize. “Undoubtedly revealing, fascinating and filled with ‘aha’ moments,” the book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and earned a rare five-star review from the South China Morning Post.