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Red Scarf Girl Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Paperback, January 1, 1997
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Collins (1997)
  • ASIN: B000OEFG3S
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ji-li Jiang is the author of Red Scarf Girl (an ALA Notable Book), her own account of growing up in China under the Cultural Revolution. Born in Shanghai in 1954, she was a science teacher before coming to the United Sates in 1984. In 1992 she started a company, East West Exchange, to promote cultural exchange between Western countries and China. She lives near San Francisco, California.

Customer Reviews

The book really helps you understand what people went through.
Regina Culberth
Like many good things, it involves a journey in which the outcome is neither good nor bad.
Dutchman
Red Scarf Girl was a great book summarizing the Cultural Revolution of China.
Jianguo Zhong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Andalucia on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I must say this book deserves ten stars, not five. Ji-Li Jiang tells the story of her life being completely torn apart by the Cultural Revolution and her own thoughts and beliefs on Chinese Communism. Ji-Li, a distinguished student, is condescended at school because of her family's past. She watches in terror as her favorite teachers are being harrassed at school, people's homes being ransacked, and her father being put in detention at his work building. Red Gaurds (enforcers of the Cultural Revolution) are everywhere, and they make sure that every well-to-do man, woman, child, is punished for being who they are. Insulting posters of propaganda turn up all over the city and Ji-Li's school. During all of the turmoil, Ji-Li is forced to choose between her family and the prestige and honor she has worked so hard for. Because of her family's political background, she loses the chance of getting into one of the best jounior high schools in China. Ji-Li begins to hate her ancestors for being who they were and she even begins to hate herself. She wishes that she were poor, so that she would not be ostracized for her way of living. However, despite all of her struggles, Ji-Li is determined to rise above those who stopped her from being who she wants to be. This is a wonderful book that I could not put down. Read this, and enjoy.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Red Scarf Girl is about a memory of the Cultural Revolution. Ji-li Jiang is the main character. She also has a brother called Ji-yong Jiang and a little sister called Ji-yuong Jiang. She has a friend, An-Yi, who often helps her when she has a problem. Ji-li Jiang had a rich family. Being rich in China at that time could cause families to be separated. It could cause families who were rich five months ago to have to live in a cottage working on a farm, getting whipped by the farmers who owe the land they're working in. It could even cause them to be killed! Ji-li is aware of all of this, and is trying to keep her family safe.
This is not a fiction book -- it is a memory about what Ji-li Jiang thought about the Cultural Revolution. You might think that this book is a girl book; but it's really about how people lived in the Cultural Revolution. If you like humor, this is not the book you're looking for -- it has a little humor in it, but it really is a sad story. Nothing goes well in the story. All the cliffhangers keep the reader in the story to see what happens next. Not all chapters end with cliffhangers, but sometimes there is a cliffhanger in the middle of a page which make the reader read a lot faster to see what happens to the person or what happens next. This book is a really detailed story about how people lived during the Cultural Revolution.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Red Scarf Girl was thought provoking and compelling book. The book is a memoir of one girl's experiences during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a movement launched by the Communist government and its leader Chairman Mao, to purge China of people who did not follow the Communist ideals. At the start of the book the protagonist, a young girl named Ji-Li, is a Communist Party poster child. She believes in Chairman Mao and dreams of a career in the Chinese government. When she learns that her grandfather was a landlord (a group scorned by the government) she considers renouncing her family to follow the Communist party.
While reading Red Scarf Girl I often felt annoyed at Ji-Li because of her blind faith in the Communist party despite the horror going on around her, and I was impatient for her to come to her senses. Even so, it must have taken great strength for Ji-Li to write what she felt at the time because she seriously contemplated leaving her family, almost changing her name so she wouldn't be associated with them. Events of the Cultural Revolution are not always pleasant to read, but the book was hard to put down. By the end of the story I had gained a greater understanding and appreciation for the people such as Ji-Li who had to make those impossible choices. I thought that Red Scarf Girl was engrossing and memorable and I highly recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Katie Panning on January 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ji-li Jiang, the writer and main character of the Red Scarf Girl, was a girl who grew up in China. The Cultural Revolution, started by Mao Ze-dong, began the year Ji-li turned 12 years old, in 1966. Her early life was joyful. Ji-li was respected because she was intelligent and she was trusted. However, soon she learns she is from a landlord family, which is one of China's Five Black Categories. Chairman Mao wanted all of China's Five Black Categories to be punished. This would include Ji-li Jiang. She then realized that some of her opportunities would have to be given up, like her not becoming a Red Successor or Red Guard because of her background. The Red Scarf Girl is a worthwhile read because it shows how Ji-li Jiang is a model hero. She is intelligent, mentally strong, and brave.
Ji-li was intelligent and was at the top of her classes. Throughout the book, Ji-li was the smartest student, had perfect test scores, and she was given the biggest opportunities because of her academics. Ji-li helped other students in math because she was the best in the math class. This was one of the honors given to her because she was intelligent. In addition, her perfect tests reflected how she was so dedicated to her studies. Early in the book, Ji-li was given the opportunity to be a Liberation Army soldier because she was intelligent, physically strong, and flexible. However, Ji-li could not be a Liberation Army soldier because of her family background. Ji-li was given many chances to succeed because she was intelligent and she used her gifts to go beyond what her family history limited her to. When she could not be a Liberation Army soldier, Ji-li kept on studying hard because later in her life, she might be given that chance once more.
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