Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang
This accessible autobiography is the true story of one girl's determination to hold her family together during one of the most terrifying eras of the twentieth century.
It's 1966, and twelve-year-old Ji-li Jiang has everything a girl could want: brains, friends, and a bright future in Communist China. But it's also the year that China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launches the Cultural Revolution—and Ji-li's world begins to fall apart. Over the next few years, people who were once her friends and neighbors turn on her and her family, forcing them to live in constant terror of arrest. When Ji-li's father is finally imprisoned, she faces the most difficult dilemma of her life.
A personal and painful memoir—a page-turner as well as excellent material for social studies curricula—Red Scarf Girl also includes a thorough glossary and pronunciation guide.
The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley
Things aren’t looking good for fourteen-year-old Mehrigul. She yearns to be in school, but she’s needed on the family farm. The longer she’s out of school, the more likely it is that she’ll be sent off to a Chinese factory . . . perhaps never to return. Her only hope is an American woman who buys one of her decorative vine baskets for a staggering sum and says she will return in three weeks for more. Mehrigul must brave terrible storms, torn-up hands from working the fields, and her father’s scorn to get the baskets done. The stakes are high, and time is passing. A powerful intergenerational story of a strong, creative young artist in a cruelly oppressive society.
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine
Nine-year-old Ling is very comfortable in her life; her parents are both dedicated surgeons in the best hospital in Wuhan. But when Comrade Li, one of Mao s political officers, moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors and, soon, for herself and family. Over the course of four years, Ling manages to grow and blossom, even as she suffers more horrors than many people face in a lifetime.
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis and William Low
A classic Newbery Award winner, with an introduction by Katherine Paterson and new illustrations
When Young Fu arrives with his mother in bustling 1920s Chungking, all he has seen of the world is the rural farming village where he has grown up. He knows nothing of city life. But the city, with its wonders and dangers, fascinates the thirteen-year-old boy, and he sets out to make the best of what it has to offer him.
First published in 1932, Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze was one of the earliest Newbery Medal winners. Although China has changed since that time, Young Fu's experiences, like making friends, are timeless.
Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (The Royal Diaries) by Laurence Yep
The Royal Diaries proudly presents two-time Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep, whose stunning diary of sixteen-year-old Lady of Ch'iao Kuo takes readers on a remarkable adventure to Southern China in the sixth century A.D. A born leader, Lady of Ch'iao Kuo, also known as Princess Redbird, is both courageous and keenly intelligent.
Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
A young orphaned girl in modern-day China discovers the meaning of family in this “heartbreaking, heartwarming, and impressive debut” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) told in verse, in the tradition of Inside Out and Back Again and Sold.
Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to be content with what she has…but what if Kara secretly wants more?
Told in lyrical, moving verse, Red Butterfly is the story of a girl learning to trust her own voice, discovering that love and family are limitless, and finding the wings she needs to reach new heights.
The Great Call of China (Students Across the Seven Seas) by Cynthea Liu
Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she's bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi'an, China, she jumps at the chance. She'll be able to learn about her passion - anthropology - and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arrives, she receives quite a culture shock. And the closer she comes to finding out about her birth parents, the more apprehensive she gets. Enter Will, the cute guy she first meets on the plane. He and Cece really connect during the program. But can he help her get accustomed to a culture she should already know about, or will she leave China without the answers she's been looking for?
Chenxi and the Foreigner by Sally Rippin
Love in the time of the Tiananmen Square.
Anna never imagined living in such a foreign place. Fresh out of high school, she has joined her father, who works in Shanghai. She's eager to see China beyond the bicycle-crowded streets between their apartment, her father's expatriate community and the art school she's attending. That's why she's thrilled when her father hires a cute local -- a fellow student named Chenxi -- to be her translator and guide.
Too bad Anna seems nothing but trouble for Chenxi. His ideas about art already rankle the authorities, and he could do without the added attention of being with a wai guo ren -- a foreigner. Even so, he is intrigued by Anna's brashness and the freedoms she takes for granted. But when Anna turns their friendship toward passion, her actions have consequences that are intensified by a watchful regime looking to get rid of disruptive artists.
Set around the time of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and inspired by the author's time spent in China as a teenager, Chenxi and the Foreigner crackles with emotion, ideas and authenticity.
Frog by Mo Yan and Howard Goldblatt (Translation)
Mo Yan chronicles the sweeping history of modern China through the lens of the nation’s controversial one-child policy.
Frog opens with a playwright nicknamed Tadpole who plans to write about his aunt. In her youth, Gugu—the beautiful daughter of a famous doctor and staunch Communist—is revered for her skill as a midwife. But when her lover defects, Gugu’s own loyalty to the Party is questioned. She decides to prove her allegiance by strictly enforcing the one-child policy, keeping tabs on the number of children in the village, and performing abortions on women as many as eight months pregnant.