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Mei-Ling Hopgood - Media
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Reviews For How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm


Eskimos "is a smarter and classier answer to Vicki Iovine’s 'The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood'. . .Combining her background as a journalist and her newness as a mother, Hopgood draws no conclusions and passes no judgments. Rather, she provides substantial food for thought, the kind that any new, in-tune mother would appreciate."

Washington Post, Feb. 10, 2012


“A fascinating journey through cultural differences in parenting styles. Learning how moms and dads potty train their toddlers in Argentina or deal with bedtime in French Polynesia may put things in perspective and offer new ideas.”

Scholastic Parent & Child


Hopgood “writes from a place of respectful, cosmopolitan curiosity - a refreshing break from the often judgmental tone of parenting books and blogs… the book is breezy and entertaining, and Hopgood is charmingly self-deprecating about her own mothering of the formidable Sofia, who emerges as a sassy character in her own right.”

Boston Globe, Jan. 8, 2012


"This delightful book by Mei-Ling Hopgood explores parenting customs from around the world, from allowing children to stay up late in Argentina to letting schoolkids “fight it out” in Japan to allowing children to play by themselves in Polynesia. Hopgood speaks with physicians and parenting professionals to back up the efficacy of the sometimes unexpected parenting customs, many of which run counter to traditional American parenting wisdom – and bring surprising results."

Christian Science Monitor


"For parents and grandparents, though, this book is as irresistible as a newborn and as hard to let go. If you've got room in the diaper bag or if you can lose a couple hours reading, How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm is a book to pack."

Eagle Tribune


“A best bet for new parents … Throughout her carefully organized text, she shows enormous respect for everyone she speaks with and everything she learns. Hopgood’s point is that there is no superior way to raise children, and thanks to her open-minded approach, readers have an opportunity to take advantage of all the world has to offer.”

Booklist Starred Review


“How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm is that rare thing: a parenting book that is a pleasure to read and doesn’t make you feel utterly substandard…. this absorbing assemblage of perspectives will help widen our own.

Bookpage, Jan 12, 2012 Top Pick


Hopgood’s text is a satisfying mix of research, observation, interview, and personal experienceReaders will laugh, marvel and muse over the many (frequently opposing) child-rearing methods that persist despite the growing globalization of parenthood.

Publishers Weekly


Going beyond the obvious, Hopgood turns up information of special interest to new parents In a conversational writing style, Hopgood enriches her narrative with personal anecdotes, and with interviews with scientists and representatives from the various cultures she explores. “

ForeWord Review

Lucky Girl Reviews


Elle Magazine's June 2009 Reader's Prize

"Hopgood is a likable narrator whose life embodies a fascinating Sliding Doors-type what-if scenario. . . She deftly and movingly contrasts her own childhood with doting parents in a Michigan suburb to the very different lives of her sisters." (Jill Jacobs, Elle reader's jury)


"A great book... to move you."

Good Housekeeping Magazine May 2009 Book Pick.


"With concise, truth-seeking deftness of a seasoned journalist, Mei-Ling delves into the political, cultural and financial reasoning behind her Chinese birth parents' decision to put her up for adoption. . . Cut with historical detail and touching accounts of Mei-Ling's 'real' family, the Hopgoods, Lucky Girl is a refreshingly upbeat take on dealing with the pressures and expectations of family, while remaining true to oneself. Simple, to the point and uncluttered of the everyday minutiae, Mei-Ling Hopgood nails the concept of becoming one's own."

Detroit Metro Times, March 6, 2009


"...a thoughtful, well-told tale about how an adopted child from Taiwan came to treasure her dual identity. . . an enchanting glimpse into Hopgood's reunion with her Chinese family. . . Hopgood's story entices not because it's joyful, but because she is honest, analytical and articulate concerning her ambivalence and eventual acceptance of both her families and herself."

Louisville Courier-Journal, June 6, 2009


Ten Books You Will Simply Enjoy 2009 End-of-Year picks for Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writer and editor Jim Higgins

"...takes a realistic look at joy, pain of adopted woman's discoveries...Adoption stories can be tediously didactic or passionately overwrought. I know: I'm the adoptive father of two Asian children, and I've read many of them. Happily, Lucky Girl is a superior book because Hopgood is fair-minded, realistic and uninterested in making big pronouncements about adoption."

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 19, 2009


"Hopgood turns the narrative crank... to play out the complex tenderness that springs from expanding your definition of what constitutes a family."

Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 1, 2009


"Though adoptees in reunion with their own birth parents will find plenty of familiar terrain in these pages, Mei-Ling's memoir goes well beyond an elated account of first impressions to cover the darker side of rejoining a family-in-progress. In an unflinching pursuit of truth, she pushes the Wang family's skeletons out of decades-long shadows and, in the process, learns a few things about herself."

Barnes and Noble Review, week of June 22, 2009




Hopgood "confronts [hard truthes and the darker things in her birth family's history] with a journalist's candor and clear vision, exploring them in prose to match."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 19, 2009


"This beautifully written memoir, with its dark secrets and redeeming moments, certainly qualifies as a universal story about family. It's also immensely reassuring to those of us who have been blessed with children from China."

Mary McCarty, columnist, Dayton Daily News, April 30, 2009


"Hopgood's story gives a rare voice to the adult adoptee."

Austin American Statesman, July 23, 2010



"Hopgood writes wonderfully well. She tells a grand tale. Her writing style is earthy, cultured, and polite. The book is, for the reader, an education in mores, socialiation, and the resiliency of the human soul. Whatever befalls the narrator, whatever ugly secret she unearths, whatever tragedies happen to her families' members, the book remains a spiritually uplifting read."

The Buenos Aires Herald, Jan. 30, 2010

Reprint in Group Pen BA Book Reviews



"At first glance, Mei-Ling Hopgood's Lucky Girl smacks of Oprah. And Hopgood's 2009 memoir, about traveling back to China as an adult to reunite with the birth parents who gave her up for adoption, might well have descended into the touchy-feely had it not been for the hard-core chops the long-time journalist brought to her brutally frank dissertation on culture and family and how 'one plane ride can change everything.'"

Phoenix New Times, Oct. 28, 2009


"Hopgood, a journalist who grew outside Detroit, is by turns wry and insightful about the many twists in her search for identity took once she encountered her birth family. Lucky Girl is wonderfully readable. . . [It] offers a peek into what it's like to negotiate across such boundaries, and why birth cultures can't be reduced to stereotypes."

Woman's Review of Books, Sept. 2009


"Hopgood uses her skill to tell an unflinching, honest tale of those two worlds in which she still lives."

Rocky Mountain Telegram, May 15, 2009


Hopgood "writes with humor and grace about her efforts to understand how biology, chance, choice and love intersect to delineate a life. A wise, moving meditation on the meaning of family, identity and fate."

Kirkus Review, March 15, 2009


"I really enjoyed Lucky Girl. For one thing it was fascinating watching Mei-Ling so successfully bridge two cultures. . . Never, though did she find herself a victim of her circumstances. She might feel pain and sadness, but she was always looking to make things work, or figure out what was necessary for her own well being and sanity. . . I would definitely recommend Lucky Girl for those interested in Taiwan, adoption, bridging of two cultures, or for those who simply need an antedote to the 'what a tradgedy' memoir."

Devourer of Books blog, April 2009


"A journalist by trade, Hopgood pushes herself to ask tough questions. As she does, shocking family secrets begin to spill forth. . . Brutally honest. . . Although Hopgood's memoir is uniquely her own, multiple perspectives on adoption saturate this book."

Bust Magazine, April/May 2009


"Mei-Ling Hopgood's riveting memoir traces a young woman's journey to understand the forces that shaped her life. Heartwarming and addictive, Lucky Girl captures the beauty--and the luck--of finding home."

Danielle Trussoni, author of Falling Through The Earth: A Memoir


"For those who courageously embrace the past."

Library Journal, March 10, 2009



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