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Red scarf girl : a memoir of the Cultural Revolution
Ji-Li Jiang
Children's Fiction DS778.7 .J53 1997

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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

From Library Journal:

Gr 4-9-Red Scarf Girl (HarperCollins, 1997) is the memoir of Ji-Li Jiang, who grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. Ji-Li Jiang was only 12 when Mao Zedong instituted the Cultural Revolution, and her life was greatly affected. An intelligent child, she quickly learned that her "bad" class status meant more in this new China than her scholastic successes. Her grandfather was a landlord, which caused the Jiang family many hardships. Throughout it all, Ji-Li struggled to remain loyal to both her family and Chairman Mao. She witnessed many of the humiliations experienced by people who had bad class status. Through an epilogue, listeners discover the final outcome for Ji-Li Jiang, her family, and some of the others highlighted in this memoir. Listeners are drawn into this emotional story immediately. Christina Moore's narration carries the story, conveying the emotional tensions that existed in Ji-Li's life. Moore does an excellent job of varying her tone and allowing each character to find his/her own voice, making it easy for listeners to follow the plot and distinguish the characters. This audiobook should fly off the shelf through word of mouth.-Kathryn King, Walnut Hill Branch, Dallas Public Library, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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