I also read 'Mao's last dancer'. Technically I haven't read the book before but I saw the movie so I knew the story. Second nephew could not recommend the book as he had to study it at school but I really enjoyed all the detail and enjoyed the narrative style. I thought his tradition of calling the relatives 'third aunt' or 'sixth brother' quaint, I might just adopt this way myself.
I was surprised when I opened the book, which I had borrowed from Hayley who had borrowed it from Lucy, was the authors message and signature. It made it a little more intimate.