Format: Uncorrected Proof
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? This is a memoir of a young boy’s experiences in China in the midst of Mao’s cultural revolution in the late 196os. His family had been landowners and scholars until Mao introduced the war against the “four olds”: old customs, old traditions, old habits and old ideas. His grandfather’s land is seized, although his life is spared, and his father is beaten and arrested. The youngest child at age 8, Da is looked after by his eldest sister, 13-year old Sisi. When Sisi must run away from the village to avoid arrest by the Red Guards, he follows her and they find a place at a school where the children work the farm. But their time ends at this new school when a communist officer arrives and the principal is condemned for his “bourgeois lifestyle.” Sisi refuses to take part in condemning the man and she and her brother flee back home. By this time, Sisi has been forgotten and the revolution is coming to an end. This is an eye-opening story about Chinese history that will resonate with young readers. Readers will be shocked at the cruelty that occurred. A very personal look at how the cultural revolution effected children in China. The author includes a brief overview of the Cultural Revolution along with several photos. The uncorrected proof did not include all the photos to come.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? Share this with readers who enjoy learning about the cultural history of other countries.
Who should buy this book? Public Libraries and elementary and middle school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Juvenile Biography
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 7/24/19