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  Ji-li's Books - Red Scarf Girl - Reviews

New York Times, 1/18/98
"In 1966, at the start of the Cultural Revolution in China, the author was a 12-year-old member of the Young Pioneers, the Communist youth organization. Her account of the harrowing events of the next two years is plainly written in colloquial American English, and is all the more powerful for the simplicity of the prose."

San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle, 12/21/97
".This re-creation of a sensitive girl's reaction to the maelstrom of her environment rings true. The writing is lively, and the narration often is heart-poundingly suspenseful."


San Jose Mercury, 3/8/98
"Certainly the most harrowing book on the list is 'Red Scarf Girl'.Her account is in simple prose, but it's a style that serves this material far better than a more ornate style might have."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Writing with powerful simplicity and unblinking understatement, Jiang makes the Cultural Revolution meaningful to children ages 10 and up...But adults, many of whom know little about this dark chapter of history, will be equally moved and astonished."

The Five Owls,
September/October 1997
"Jiang's story is immediate, captivating and brings readers directly into the world of twentieth century China under Communist rule, a country seldom explored for children - and never before explored to such effect.(The author) deftly avoids an emphasis on cultural detail that would distance readers. It is this capacity that is particularly valuable. At almost every turn, we listen to the thoughts and struggles of Ji-li to accommodate her respect and fervor for Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution while it is clearly delineated that there is no possibility of justice for her. The supporting cast is not shown in black and white terms,.This fair-handed approach increases the intensity of the memoir. Jiang's memoir changes the way we see the world and ourselves."

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."

Voice of Youth Advocates 6/98
".[Jiang's] compelling story makes history come alive for teens, much as Anne Frank's diary has done for decades.All libraries should have this book."

School Library Journal
"The writing style is lively and the events often have a heart-pounding quality about them. Red Scarf Girl will be appreciated as a page-turner and as excellent discussion material for social studies curricula."

Horn Book
"[Red Scarf Girl] is a rare personal glimpse of the upheaval China suffered during the 1960s, and the child's point of view is firmly maintained.[The] conflict between political and family expectations is well portrayed."

Pacific Sun,
". . . This is an incredible coming of age story and an important historical record with lessons for us all."

Denver Post
"This is the touching memoir (marketed for young adults, but truly a story for any age) of Jiang's experiences during China's Cultural Revolution."