An outstanding student and much admired leader of her class, Ji-Li Jiang was poised for a shining future in the Communist party until the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Told with simplicity, innocence and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in 20th-century history--and of one family's indomitable courage ...
An outstanding student and much admired leader of her class, Ji-Li Jiang was poised for a shining future in the Communist party until the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Told with simplicity, innocence and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in 20th-century history--and of one family's indomitable courage under fire. ALA 1998 Notable Children's Book; ALA 1998 Best Books for Young Adults.
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If you liked the story of Anne Frank, you will also enjoy this young girl's story. The chinese cultural revolution was exciting as well as frightening for the youth in China. Ji Li Jiang writes of the changes during this time of cultural upheavel in a very personal way. I loved dthe book and am giving several away as Christmas presents. It is a very easy read, but also thought provoking.
Jul 16, 2009
Good for anyone who is interested in the Mao period.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-07-28 The passionate tone of this memoir, Jiang's first book for children, does not obstruct the author's clarity as she recounts the turmoil during China's Cultural Revolution. It is 1966, and Ji-li, a highly ranked student, exceptional athlete and avid follower of Mao zealously joins her classmates in denouncing the Four Olds: "old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits." Tables are turned, however, when her own family's bourgeois heritage is put under attack. Even when the 12-year-old's dreams of a successful career are dashed (as quickly as her opportunities to attend a prestigious high school and to join youth organizations), and she must watch in horror as relatives, teachers, neighbors and friends are publicly humiliated and tortured, her devotion to ingrained Communist principals remains steadfast ("It was only after Mao's death that I knew I was deceived," she says in the epilogue). Jiang paints a detailed picture of everyday life in Shanghai ("Almost every Sunday afternoon Dad wanted to take a long nap in peace, and so he gave us thirty fen to rent picture books") while slowly adding the dark strokes of political poison that begin to invade it. Her undidactic approach invites a thoughtful analysis of Ji-li's situation and beliefs. She astutely leaves morals and warnings about corruption and political control to be read between the lines. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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