In China Coin, Leah’s trip to China with her mother leads to many unforeseen events and obstacles resulting in an understanding of her identity, a closer relationship with her mother and an opportunity to witness the Tiananmen Square student revolution. Through the introduction, the responders are informed of the purpose of their journey to China, which is to uncover the mystery of an ancient coin, thus fulfilling her father and grandfather’s last wish. Visiting Red Star Village results in many changes to Leah and Joan’s relationship. Leah matures and and has to grow up quickly as she is forced to live independently due to Joan’s physical injury. She is the one who now has to pursue the mystery of the coin. Thus she learnt more about herself and gained a greater understanding of the Chinese culture and language, which led to an improved relationship between Leah and Joan. The responder learns about the changes Leah undergoes through Baillie’s use of Leah’s internal monologue, allowing the responders to both analyse Leah’s perspective and to be a part of her. The composers also illustrate the changes in Leah through the use of vivid descriptive language, which allows the responder to “see” and “hear” what Leah is experiencing. The burden to “finish what Dad has started” is now freed as she has solved the mystery of the coin, which will change her life as she can now move on without her dad, which is essential for Leah and Joan’s future. “We are going to have to set about seeing some of China. Not for David, but for us” said Joan to Leah. Leah’s journey to China has widened her perspective on her ancestry and gained a deep understanding of the political stance of China during that time.
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