Read Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution by Moying Li Online

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Most people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself.In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begiMost people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself.In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father's precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba entrusts a friend to deliver a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning.This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China's history as it tells the compelling story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution.Snow Falling in Spring is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year....

Title : Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374399221
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution Reviews

  • Mara
    2018-11-13 16:09

    This book really makes you appreciate living in a country where you still have freedom. Again, this isn't a made-up story; it's a biography written by Moying Li. Her precise writing and insight into China - along with the blend of various Chinese words (and there is an index in the back for easy lookup) - make it a very interesting and easy read.But it is also a hard read - especially for those who love books. Since it is during the Cultural Revolution, plenty of books are destroyed in the story, and those are very hard passages for any book-lover to read. The crimes committed by the Red Guard are horrendous; it left me staring in shock that they could get by with such monstrosities. It's not surprising, but every time I read a true account about such things, it always has the shocking effect on me. It left me feeling a little scared. My worst nightmare is to have my freedom taken away.I don't really have anything negative to say about Snow Falling in Spring. It is very well-written, very engaging, very informative, and a strong recommendation from myself. I certainly intend to buy it.

  • Louise
    2018-11-11 10:05

    Moying Li was 4-years-old in 1958 and lived with her maternal grandmother and grandfather, Lao Lao and Lao Ye in a traditional Chinese house. It was also occupied by her mother and father, her 3-year-old brother Di Di, aunts and uncles, the family of a tailor, electrician and a clerk.In the fall of 1958 Moying returned home one day to find the backyard, her beloved playground, strewn with: “...bricks, holes, and scrap metal”. A huge big black furnace, as tall as her father, was standing in the center. Her family was gathering materials for the “Great Leap Forward”, launched by Chairman Mao. The leaders believed: “...they could catch up with the West...” mainly Britain: “...in just ten to twenty years – in a giant single stride. The family was trying to gather strong construction materials and using the furnace to melt them into steel. Women were giving up their favourite frying pans and woks. Too little Moying the furnace looked like: “...a roaring dragon”.Between 1958 and 1961, China underwent a siege of disasters. First a plague of insects, then a serious drought and finally far reaching famine in which millions of people died.Moying remembers with clarity the day her childhood ended. It occurred one evening in the summer of 1966, when her elementary school Headmaster hanged himself. Moying was twelve-years-old.In the summer of 1963, Moying was packing to attend a school , two-hours away from her home. She would reside there Monday to Friday. Moying was one of many students selected to attend this school were they would learn nine languages! The expectation was that after: “...ten years of training, many of the students would continue their studies in leading universities, with the possibility of diplomatic careers”.In late spring of 1966 disturbances at Beijing and Tsinghua universities began. Large character posters were accusing school authorities of: “...departing from Chairman Mao’s teachings”. The posters demanded that these educational facilities be opened to workers and peasants instead of the privileged minority. Classes were cancelled and the students began to form groups, calling themselves, “Red Guards”, and displayed red arm bands on their sleeves.In midsummer, Chairman Mao stood at Tinanmen Square, on top of the “Gate of Heavenly Peace” telling the large gathering crowd that he supported the Red Guards. Like piles of newspapers catching on fire one after another, Red Guard units appeared in all universities and high schools denouncing authorities.One afternoon there was a scuffle in their headmaster’s office. Moying and her friends went to see what was going on. The high school students were pasting a sign up in the room saying he should confess his crimes, he was poisoning their minds with western ideology and that he was training students to follow capitalism instead of communism. Moying and her friends were shocked and wondered why their headmaster would try to poison them? After speaking to a friend’s sister, they were told that she was denounced the right to become a Red Guard as they believed she was following the headmaster’s teaching. Moying and her friends were more confused. Every day uncertainty abounded. There were posters everywhere and some now included not only the headmaster, but teachers as well.The Cultural Revolution continued on with every family losing someone to a labour camp. I have left a lot of information out of this review as I didn’t want to give away any spoilers, expect maybe one.Moying Li’s memoir was penned with deep thought, deep feelings, and the love of her country which touched her heart and soul. This is an excellent memoir that I would recommend to all and at 176 pages you’ll be done in 2 hours. This book had more information and histories packed into it than some books of 300 pages do, truly amazing!

  • Hannah Weller
    2018-11-26 11:13

    I read "Snow Falling in Spring" (autobiography) to get out of my typical reading comfort zone. I was glad that I did break out of my comfort zone because this book was a very interesting read! The story begins with a girl named Moying Lee who lives in a small house in Beijing with her grandmother (Lao Lao), grandfather (Lao Ye), father (Baba), and brother (Didi). One day, Moying finds the courtyard to be destroyed and discovers a large furnace. Her Baba tells her that the village is melting metal for construction materials for the Great Leap Forward. (That is when China tried to take over Great Britain.) Everyone in the village gave everything they had, to melt for the country. Her village melts metals for months on end, only to discover that they melted the metal incorrectly, and all they had sacrificed had gone to waste. Moying grows older and is sent to a boarding school to learn English and American ways. The government continues to make absurd rules and regulations in order to take over Great Britain. But intrest in Britain diminishes and a man named Chariman Mao rises to power and cracks down on education; outlawing any form of art in the classroom and making classroom standards and curriculums himself. If anyone was found to be disobeying these rules, they would be arrested by Chairman Mao's supporters and army, the Red Guards. Uprisings occur all over Beijing, and Moying's headmaster is also arrested. But while he is in custody at the school, he hangs himself. Not long after this occurence Moying flees her school, seeking refuge in the sanctity of her home. But tranquility isn't what she finds. Her family has also been attacked, and she and Didi are sent to various relatives all over the coutry, but find safety nowhere and return home. She eventually goes back to school, and finishes her education. While she is finishing her education, slowly, Chairman Mao's right hand men die. The cultural revolution is weakened, until one day, it is ended. That is the day Chairman Mao dies. Joy and relief spreads through China, and Moying decides to persue her dreams of becoming an American teacher. She packs her bags and goes to America, where she is inspried to write this book. I rated this book a 3 out of 5 because it was a little slow at times, and I found myself getting bored at certain points. However, You fall in love with Moying’s Lao Lao when you read the book because of her kindness. I really liked how suspenseful the book was at points; like when the headmaster hung himself. Overall, it was a good book. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to get out of their reading comfort zone.

  • Cguisinger
    2018-11-29 09:09

    I've read a number of books set during the 60s and 70s Cultural Revolution in China. This flowed well, captured my attention and was very well written. I would highly recommend it.

  • Leslie
    2018-12-02 09:12

    I read this some years ago, but I found it fascinating, and it gave great insight to another culture. With its first-person narrative, and personal stories, it shows home life in China. I remember especially the killing of the birds, and then the season of hunger that followed, because the bugs ate the crops. That was just one of the stories, not a spoiler alert. It was something I did not know China went through. I highly recommend it.

  • Isabelle Shutt
    2018-11-23 10:17

    Snow Falling in Spring, by Moying Li, tells the story of the author's coming of age in China during the Cultural Revolution. The book describes betrayal, unfairness,and cruelty during Chairman Mao's reign. The Red Guards who believe the propaganda they hear just like many others, and drive their school's headmaster to hang himself. But it also tells of Moying's love of her extended family (some related by blood, and other's not), and the friends she makes in her pursuit of education (made hard by the laws banning many books and denouncing many teachers)."Lately Baba often seemed to be cautioning me not to believe what others said. Unlike the days when I was little, I realized, I could no longer trust grownups with all my heart. Back then, I had learned to be loyal to my family and friends, to trust my teachers and my school, and to be faithful to Chairman Mao and our country. To me, family and country were the same. I had no problem being loyal to both of them." I was interested by this passage. It seemed to point out that Moying was thinking for herself now, not following others blindly. She realizes that she might have to rearrage the values that she has always held most dear.I was incredulous at the way the Red Guards were so willing o turn against their school's headmaster. How you could just accuse and torture someone who you had known and admired for so long-driving him to kill himself. Then I was shocked and angry when the deputy headmaster's little daughter was ordered to denounce her father. One of the student Red Guards forced the stick with which to beat him into her hands. I can't imagine how traumatic and confusing that would've been.I think I got so caught up in the emotions of the book, because of how alive the whole thing feels. The narrative voiceis like an old friend telling a new story to you-something you've never heard before, but is key to the way they are. The book is hard to read at times, because you know that the author witnessed all of this as a child. Overall, I enjoyed this book and was moved by it.

  • Ziying
    2018-11-22 13:11

    I kept comparing this book to "Life and Death in Shanghai" by Nien Cheng. The former is by a young girl in Beijing, the latter by a sophisticated, mature woman in Shanghai. "Life and Death in Shanghai" is a masterpiece with deep insights into Cultural Revolution and so admirably strong human spirit, and this books is just childsplay. I Her account is simple, and childlike, which is understandable, being so young of age as she was. I wouldn'y recommend this book to anyone except for those who already have a good understanding of the political background in China during that time, as this book does not introduce much of that.I also don't like the story because it's very inconsistent. Her mother, brother, and grandfather only plays a minor role in the book and only gets mentioned occasionally. As if she cuts out some part and only tells us the parts she thinks is important. While reading I kept wondering where her family went. Some characters (all those Uncles!) only shows up or get mentioned once and never again. There's one sentence that I can relate to so much: "China is never the same to those who left." My favourite chapter is "Hunan Mummy", though I really dislike the title, and the chapter seems a bit out of place in the middle of her telling of the Cultural Revolution. It is the ending that touched me. How she connect the story of Xin Zhui with her family and her own father. The resilience, the modesty they share, I think is evident on all Chinese people.

  • Mariana Marisol
    2018-11-10 13:53

    Este es uno de esos libros que sorprende gratamente, del cual no esperaba nada y me dejó todo. El descubrimiento de Nieve en primavera, fue un caso fortuito y casi predestinado a ser; paseando por la FeNaL de León, lo vi en un estante y lo primero que me llamó fue su portada, simple y llena a la vez, busqué y no tenía una sinópsis, así que solo lo volví a dejar en su lugar; sin embargo, es más poderoso el destino y tres horas después, sin pensarlo mucho, regresé por él... afortunadamente.Nieve en primavera, narra la forma en que Moying Li vivió su infancia y adolescencia en la China de Mao, pero no lo hace de una forma rencorosa, ni victimizada, lo hace relatando su sentir y actividades desde sus recuerdos; unos recuerdos que, en ocasiones, duelen, porque deja palpable la esperanza de la gente que la rodeaba, la inocencia, las ganas de salir adelante, de ser más... y llegado a un punto, las ganas de sobrevivir, de permanecer, de ser alguien en el mundo.La sinópsis que se puede encontrar en línea sobre este libro, puedo decir que no le hace justicia, el viaje de su lectura es algo maravilloso, que dentro de su simplicidad, deja muchas enseñanzas, es muy fácil ser empáticos con la protagonista, ponerse en su lugar y sentir lo que quiere transmitir.Definitivamente lo recomiendo, para todos aquellos que quieran sentir la fortuna de crecer en un lugar que, pese a sus limitaciones, nos da la oportunidad de ser, donde tenemos la libertad de ir, venir, pensar y sentir.

  • Brian Won
    2018-11-18 10:01

    From my perspective, I thought that this book showed a lot of eagerness towards learning to change one's future. It makes you appreciate the fact that we are living in a country where we are not oppressed by the government unlike Moying. I thought that her will to keep her learning alive was very passionate and the cultural revolution made it a lot harder for her to touch any form of books. However, through her father's reading list, she beagan to accumulate knowledge of any sort through reading foreign literature. I think this was her first step towards becoming something great. Although the cultural revolution hit hard, Moying was steadfast and studied all she could from her father's reading list. It doesn't take me by surprise that she had led a successful life until she graduated and led her life in America to study. Growing up in a difficult environment, Moying has kept her ground and has not given up her flame of learning and istead has fueled it more by reading foreign literature, continuing to and international school of China, and finally getting accepted into an American college to earn her degrees. All in all, I thought that this book was very compassionate and steadfast when compared to other memoirs. Moying has had a clear objective from the start and has not witheld herself from acquiring all the knoweledge she could from her surroundings. The memoir was very unique in its own way and I enjoyed the book a lot.

  • Jason
    2018-12-11 09:05

    Snow Falling in Spring, written by Moying Li, tells the story of the author’s childhood memories during the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution was a 10 year havoc instigated by Mao Zedong, with the purpose of consolidating his political power in China. During this turmoil, many scholars, former Kuomintang officials and landlords were persecuted by the Communist Party and the Red Guards. Moying’s family and friends could not avert the imminent disaster, many of them were arrested and killed. This book discloses the Cultural Revolution through a little girl’s perspective, giving readers a detailed insight of this dark era. The author narrates her life changing childhood experience in great detail. Moying describes each event and character through her own perspective as a little girl, which highlights a child’s innocence and naiveness in a intricate and oppressing society. This book's authentic historical setting brings the author’s memories more to life, allowing readers to experience what the author herself has gone through. I highly recommend this book to all readers, especially readers who's interested in history and seeks detailed insights of the Cultural Revolution. This book delivers a great plot and an authentic description on this scar of modern Chinese history.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-11 08:56

    This is Moying Li's autobiography, who was born raised in China. She authored one book before this memoir entitled Beacon Hill: The Life and Times of a Neighborhood. She reflects on her childhood and the political upheavals that surrounded it, forming her into the strong and determined woman she is today. From the stories of her father’s misery in the labor camps to her English tutor’s faith in her, each one affected her deeply.The book was told from a completely different cultural perspective so even small things can be astonishing (such as feelings about civic duty and family). The Chinese language is also intertwined with the story: Chinese characters accompany each chapter and Li often utilizes the Chinese word (explaining its meaning) in place of the English to emphasize its importance to her.Li’s story seems to almost deliberately target a young adult reading audience. The writing itself feels as though a young person has written it as it focuses on small details amidst chaos. In addition, the experiences themselves, while they can be viewed differently by the readers versus the author, are something many young adults must go through such as taking on adult responsibilities before you are truly ready.

  • Heidi-Marie
    2018-12-11 15:56

    This book was fantastic. I've been aware of various events of China's history. I haven't always been able to remember what happened when and where and why. (I'm still trying to remember that for the same time period in my OWN country!) Yet some of it I've chosen to avoid knowing more of. It has always been hard and shocking for me to take it all in. However, I'm grateful for those things (like the movie "To Live") that force me to see what life was like for those who endured these tumultuous times. Hard for me to take? It's absolutely nothing compared to what those people lived through. Unlike any historical fiction movie, this book is written by a woman who spent the first 26 years of her life during this time of upheaval. The first-hand account not only made me grateful that my Chinese ancestors were wise to emmigrate very early on when they did, but also showed me a people who had faith, endurance, courage, and strength. And somehow found hope in a world without it. If you think your life is tough or unfair, then you should read a memoir like this and like me realize that you are greatly blessed.*For the "Read something by an author of your heritage" of the 2009 Book Challenge*

  • Mangieto
    2018-11-22 14:11

    No puedo decir que es la mejor prosa del mundo, ni que los personajes están super bien narrados. Pero es no ficción y no es tan normal encontrar un relato tan poco sentimental, en cuanto a la situación política y social que vivió la autora. Pero sí puedo decir que sentí a las personas que participan aquí, su Lao Lao me robó el corazón y la entereza de su papá era admirable. No cualquiera puede decir que sería capaz de ponerse a animar a sus compañeros en el campo de trabajos forzados, o que se quedaría sola en una casa amenazada, sólo porque su familia podría necesitarla.Es un relato sencillo, cuenta la forma en que Moying Li hizo su vida durante un período muy difícil para la población china. Había hambruna, hubo prohibición de mucho material, las autoridades atemorizaban a la gente y abusaban de su poder. En fin, lo típico en un regimen totalitario. Pero en estas páginas no verán una opinión radicalizada por el paso del tiempo y el resentimiento; al contrario, es una historia llena de pequeñas cosas que dan esperanza. Moying Li se concentró en contar lo que le daba fuerza y la forma en que al final pudo seguir sus sueños, pasando por todas esas personas especiales.

  • Lawrence
    2018-11-10 09:03

    p.1-41The book has so far illustrated the narrator's history as a time of growing up. Li describes her childhood with innocence in the midst of the Great Leap where China is rallying its people to revolutionize the country in the face of the industrial West. The Great Leap has now passed and Li is about to face a life changing moment, or "loss of innocence". I anticipate this will happen in the next chapter because it begins with, "...my school headmaster hanged himself." (42) Li's style consists of past tense as if she is watching her childhood from the present. The details are very elaborate which makes it questionable whether an event actually happened or not. Occasionally, Li will dedicate a chapter to bring out a character's past such as Lao Lao's, Li's grandmother, childhood. A particularly moving part was when Li discovers her grandmother saving the better food for her and her brother. She later, with her brother, adamantly demands Lao Lao to serve her the same meager food. Such insight in children (not exclusive) is rare nowadays.

  • Sandy
    2018-11-23 13:58

    The Cultural Revolution. What a grave and fascinating and horrible time for China.... This will be the third book I've read about this period in Chinese history. As this woman is a friend of my dad's, I look forward to every page. This is a tender book of a lovely childhood interrupted by catastrophic and horrific political events.... events that destroyed millions in China and millions of historic treasures. Moying Li has written beautifully about her family and her traditions and her life, expressing it with love and deep affection and the awful parts with matter-of-factness that is largely without judgement..... Very good read especially for Westerners who have so little ACTUAL exposure to foreign lands and peoples and cultures. We in the States are so steeped in our self-righteousness views of civil rights.... Yet there is China, the biggest country and population on the planet, that had no regard for them, perhaps even now....Other reads about this incredible period are: Wild Swans and Life and Death in Shainghai. Both are very worth checking out.

  • Shaila Prasad
    2018-11-28 09:03

    Hello, I'm 12 and I love in New Delhi, India. Can I just start of saying that, "Snow Falling In Spring," by Moying Li is probably one of the best books I have ever read; and that coming from a person who has grown up only reading and loving fiction and fantasy. Moying Li has a fascinating story to tell, and I'm happy she told the world about her childhood. The way this book has been written, I don't want to stop reading. I just want to continue reading till my eyes hurt and I have a headache. I know a lot of people write this, but this book has something interesting on every line, every page. I am very sad that I have finished this book, I didn't want the story to end.My favorite character was Lao Lao because could really feel, read, and imagine the strong relationship and connection between Lao Lao and Moying. What summed up their relationship, or friendship in a way was when Lao Lao gave Moying her necklace with her first name on it. "Snow Falling in Spring," is a phenomenal book that I recommend everyone to read.

  • Deborah
    2018-11-19 11:50

    The Cultural Revolution in China begins when Moying in twelve. Before this awful turn of events, Moying has had a happy life, living with her sweet Baba, mother, grandparents, uncles, and friends. As a young person, Moying is confused. She supports Mao, but finds the violent witch hunt for supposedly proletarian haters at her and the surrounding schools scary and without merit. Then when she returns home to her grandmother, she finds her grandmother's friends have turned against her. Despite the fact that Moying's parent fought with the Communists against the Japanese and Nationalists, her parents also become the subject of harassment. Moying gives an emotional portrayal of the contrast between her innocent, happy upbringing and the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. She proves the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of education and knowledge to combat and survive oppression.Recommended ages 12+.

  • Maria
    2018-11-17 07:58

    This book had a lesser look into the mind altering ways of the Chinese Cultural Revolution found in Red Scarf Girl. Instead, I found it refreshing to see how Western literature (Shakespeare, King Lear; Tom Sawyer, Huck Fin, and many others) helped the author to continue a quest for education, as she puts it. Her father's advice, "Do not believe everything you hear," is also of extreme importance to us as it applies to life and propaganda, etc. On page 147 is found my favorite quote from the entire book: "Those standing tall around the monument realized that, instead of hero worshipping, they needed to become heroes themselves." Isn't that true in anyone's lives? We need to step up to do what needs to be done and not wait for the "heroes" to do it.

  • Claire Burns
    2018-11-26 09:48

    Audience: intermediateGenre: non-fictionAward: Bank Street Best Children's Book of the YearQuestions:1. What does the word "baba" refer to? (knowledge)2. Why did Moying and her family get nervous whenever the Red Striders were around? (comprehension)3. What would result if Moying Li had not been a bookworm? Would her life be different? How? (application)4. Describe the relationship between Moying and Baba? How does it change as she grows older? (analyzing)5. What is your opinion of the Cultural Revolution in China? What kind of challenges do you think other people faced during this time? (evaluation)6. Create a timeline that accurately depicts the events the Li family had to go through during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. (create)

  • Yibbie
    2018-11-24 09:08

    A heartbreaking memoir of growing up in China. Moying Li gives such a stark picture of the destruction of her childhood by the Cultural Revolution. It's not a bitter tale, and that is truly amazing because she certainly has reason to be. She was just old enough to remember life before the revolution. Like the time they melted down the pots and pans to create iron for the Great Leap Forward. Her childhood ended with the violence of the Cultural Revolution.It's a very clean read. While the subject is hard it is written appropriately for children and would make a good introduction to the Cultural Revolution.

  • Starla
    2018-11-25 11:10

    A sobering but rich book on many levels---a story of a strong young girl who perseveres the confusion and brutality of the Chinese Cultural Revolution with honesty but without bitterness. Moying Li shares her memoirs of a turbulent time but also the beauty of family and friends. At the same time, she reveals the dangers of government-gone-wild, where ideology supersedes individual thoughts and expression, the logical extreme of political correctness; she watched teachers, family and friends suffer humiliation and harm for "being disloyal to the Party." In spite of this upheaval, she rises above, never loses love for her home country, and survives with quiet and humble strength.

  • Emmanuel De la paz
    2018-12-10 12:02

    The author gives a personal and touching account of her life growing up through the Chinese Cultural Revolution. What's touching is how Li captured stark moments of the Revolution through her once childlike and innocent perspective, such as when she believed that by proudly taking part in the Great Sparrow Campaign (or Kill a Sparrow Campaign), she was helping to re-build a new China only to realise later how her child-like eagerness along with everyone else's actions would contribute to a major ecological imbalance. Can be a bit sentimental at times, but quite honestly it's one of the books strengths.

  • Alicia
    2018-11-29 13:08

    Li details her life as she tries to understand the significance of Mao's Great Leap Forward, but to her young eyes, it only seems to be making those around her crazy or dead. She finds strength in her grandmother, who becomes her primary caretaker and becomes a beautiful story about Chinese culture and heritage in a time of great upheaval. In the end, Li does conquer all, when she becomes a student in the United States. "Sympathizing with one's friends might be perceived as disobeying Chairman Mao. Nowadays, I felt like a child lost in a dense forest, with darkness shrouding every familiar path."

  • Hannah
    2018-12-01 07:50

    This was a really fast and easy to read book. Its weird to think that before reading this book, I had no idea that this had happened in China. I don't know any World History, really, but this brutality and meaningless beating and accusing was awful. I just sat in my seat, totally shocked, the entire book. The fact that she wasn't able to even pick what she really wanted to do was my last straw. I mean, yes, there were some happy times, but the bad outweighed the good. I read this for English class and I enjoyed it.

  • Greg
    2018-11-14 16:03

    Perfect for seventh grade and up in my experience, perfect length, just enough detail to give kids a sense of precisely how messy and horrible this period was. Books about China that are both interesting and manageable for younger teenagers are hard to find. As good an introduction to a topic that is almost impossible to explain to young minds (how does one explain total insanity and chaos for hundreds of millions of people?) as I've found. This book should be included in far more curriculums.

  • Ruth Eng
    2018-12-03 09:16

    The amount of suffering that occurred during the CR in China is difficult to read about, but necessary to understand. How a virtuous society steeped in Confucian values slipped into insanity and madness, dishonoring those who loved their country and people and wasting the brilliant minds of an entire generation are political and psychosocial lessons for all. Ignorance, propaganda, the mob mentality, despair, and fear are all parts of this shameful era, but determination, love, survival, and resilience are as well.

  • Andrea
    2018-12-09 12:56

    This book is similar to Wild Swans. The measure of the human spirit and one's ability to persevere under hardships never ceases to amaze me. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live in China during the Cultural Revolution when so many unfair things went on. I have tried to imagine if that were to happen here in the US or to me personally, and I cannot tell you what I would do with that level of frustration. An interesting and easy-to-read account of one family's experiences. I especially enjoyed how much books and reading meant to many who lived through those trying times.

  • Rebekah
    2018-11-23 12:56

    I really enjoyed this YA novel about growing up in China. My knowledge of Chinese history is sadly so lacking that it was good that Ms. Li included a lot of historical context to the actions. My own complaint was that though she referenced Tieneman square, she never mentioned where in the time line the massacre occurred, but that is remedied with a google search.The thought police incidents were interesting compared with similar witch hunts in Nazi Germany, the macarthy communist trials, etc. It always makes me curious what circumstances allow such forces to overwhelm the masses?

  • Sandy
    2018-11-21 10:02

    Once again a haunting read about China. Hard to imagine the things that this women has lived thru. My only complaint was that it seemed to jump a bit and all of a sudden all was well. I am sure it was not all that tidy at the time. Education is so important. I can't imagine a life without books and learning. We are all in this together yet we can never seem to play nice with others.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-03 14:17

    I read this book in English Class. Never would I pick it up by myself but it was very interesting. Yet, I didn't see how Moying's story itself was interesting. The cultural time period was. The book was a very easy and informational