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Red Scarf Girl
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By Ji-Li Jiang

Partly because Red Scarf Girl is written in a simple, direct, reportorial style, it is marketed to ages 10 and up. However, this is no juvenile book. It reflects upon very serious, very adult themes.

It is a story of ordinary people’s suffering in a society gone mad. It deals with guilt by association, lust for power, and how decent people can lose their moral compass when fighting for survival. It also shows how even a child can show great courage in the face of injustice.

In 1966 Ji-Li Jiang was a happy 12-year-old in China. Then the Cultural Revolution threw her life into chaos. Schools focused solely on political indoctrination. Teachers took orders from students. When her father was unjustly imprisoned, she endured much just to visit him. At the cost of becoming a pariah herself, she refused to denounce him. This book is a gripping page-turner.

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