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The Red Piano Hardcover – December 1, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The experiences of Chinese-born French pianist Khu Xiao-Mei inspire this poignant, picture-book biography set during the Cultural Revolution. Separated from her family and forbidden to pursue classical music studies, a young girl in exile clandestinely collects Bach preludes and practices the piano in a hut on the outskirts of her rural village. When she and her accomplice, an elderly villager who hides the piano, are discovered, they are tortured and ridiculed, and the piano is destroyed. An ambiguous ending sends the girl from the camp into a murky sunset with her secreted music notebooks in tow. Leblanc’s clipped, elegant phrases tell a woeful, abstracted story that is well-matched with Barroux’s arresting paintings in inky brown and shocking red, which are embellished with bits of newspaper and period propaganda. The tone is somber and the subject matter sophisticated, but the dramatic imagery offers an accessible, vivid picture of life during the time of Chairman Mao. A historical note pointing to Web resources provides helpful background information. Grades 2-5. --Thom Barthelmess

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"A must for any child’s bookshelf."  —Amnesty Human Rights Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Wilkins Farago Pty Ltd (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980607019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980607017
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is an effective presentation for children of life in China during the Cultural Revolution as it affected one young girl. It is based on The Secret Piano, a memoir by world famous pianist Xiao-Mei Zhu whose devotion to music survived her life in the Youth Labor Camps in 1960's China. This children's book has appealing pictures and simple but direct text.
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