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Red Scarf Girl

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  6,698 ratings  ·  1,021 reviews
"Ji-li's deeply moving story should be on the shelf of every person's library. Her courage in the face of adversity and her steadfast loyalty to her family are truly inspirational for young and old alike." --Nien Cheng (Author of A Life and Death in Shanghai)
Paperback, 285 pages
Published 1999 by HarperTrophy (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 27, 2008 Michelle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in China's Cultural Revolution
What to say about this...sometimes I have to resist the urge to review every book that I read. Then I think about the fact that I didn't review it, and I think, "Oh, just review it. Say something. Say anything." Not that people are just waiting to read what I and everyone else thought of it, but I feel that I should at least say something about it. After all, people do search for books to read and all the reviews pop up underneath them, so if they are interested enough to click on this book, the ...more
I've only read a few books that center on the Cultural Revolution in China. This one is different in that it's a memoir and focusses very specifically on 2 years of young girl's life when she's 12-14 years old; very impressionable and insecure years for many girls, under normal situations.
Mao's Cultural Revolution was mayhem, from what I've gathered from the few books I've read. People denouncing neighbours, people being wary & afraid of speaking out, people being pronounced "black" (not wi
Dec 01, 2007 Meagan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's interested in China's cultural revolution
Many Americans, myself included, have an opinion about China, Communism, or most likely both. What most of us have neglected to do is explore how valid our opinions are. Ji-Li Jiang's memoir was written for children, and because she is a teacher her book is very accessible for most elementary school-age kids. It's no less interesting or valuable for adults, though, simply because we are not her intended audience. Red Scarf Girl brings us with Ji-Li as she grows up in the height of China's cultur ...more
Sep 12, 2008 Natasha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who cares about freedom
Recommended to Natasha by: LEMI
Shelves: history, young-adult
A revealing tale of how people will gradually allow more and more of their freedoms to be taken away when they are pitted one against another. That was Mao's genius--keep the masses in constant revolt between classes.

Mao was so revered that, as a youth, the author questioned her parents rather than the establishment. Her response to the difficult choice forced upon her (to choose her family or the party) is a powerful lesson. A well written book for her intended audience (youth).

My daughter re
This book is powerful for me because it happened to a girl my age who was born in China. I wonder if I could have been as strong as she was. Chairman Mao had them all fooled, and I wonder when (not if) it will happen again. I read "The Children's Story, " by James Michner to my class to start this book. It seems real to me and them. Who now would give up his or her summer to work for the country? Who would stay up all day and night to work on a project for shcool? Who would walk right by his gra ...more
Nov 15, 2008 bjneary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA
Shelves: biography, history, ya
Ji-li Jiang writes of a terrible time the history of China and in her life. Everyone was so enamored and "brainwashed" by Mao's greatness that the Chinese began to change the way they thought, dressed, acted and were educated----and if they didn't, they were seen as Four Olds to be humiliated in front of family and friends by teen guards that had become revolutionized to do Mao's good work. Her family went from a success story to being blamed for a grandfather being a landlord which was consider ...more
Very informational. I have such a love and fascination for Chinese history, that I really enjoyed it. I kept thinking, wow, we are so close to this in the US! I hope I've prepared my children to stand up for their heritage!
I gave Ji-li Jiang's memoir of her life, Red-Scarf Girl:A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution four stars (really liked it) because of the way her story was told. This book is intended for readers in grades 5-9, which is quite a span, but I would say it is most approriate for grades 7-9. Jiang lets readers in on her life, and allows them to experience how she changes from a girl that was proud to be a product of her country to a young woman who comes to question everything she believes. I found it ...more
At times it was hard to remember that this book is a memoir and the horrific acts I was reading about not only really happened, but they happened to a young girl. While I've read better writing, the story was so powerful it was able to transcend my feelings about the prose. When I started the book, I knew nothing about the Cultural Revolution in China, so I had no idea what to expect. Having finished the book, I can make comparisons to the Cultural Revolution in Iran, as in Persepolis, and the H ...more
Scarf Girl, by Ji-Li Jiang, is about a girl living in the 1960’s during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The story starts off with Ji-Li’s “perfect” life in communist China, and she lands an audition for the Liberation Army Dancer. When she comes home to announce the amazing news to her mother and family, she realizes that her family isn’t perfect, but her country is worse. Through the story, more and more corruption comes into China, and more propaganda is pushed onto Ji-Li and her fellow clas ...more
Morgan Echtenkamp
The cover of this book did not draw me in, but it came with a great recommendation from a friend/our school librarian. I really enjoyed every page of it! I also learned so much about China under communist rule that I did not know anything about. It is a true story about the author's life in China from the ages of 12 to 14. I would highly recommend this book to any of my students. It was a quick, enjoyable, and informative read!
This was an interesting book from a historical perspective, as It gave a lot of insight into what it was like to live during the cultural revolution. Towards the beginning of the book I was able to connect with all the characters, and their emotions were very real. As the book progressed, however, It began to frustrate me how ignorant the characters were. I get that this was to show how brain-washed the characters were, but it began to become unbelievable and unrealistic, turning an insightful a ...more
Tamara Hamlin Maestra
This memoir is remarkable. Ji-li Jiang really channels her young teen self in this fascinating tale of the trials of a Chinese family in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. A great read for anyone aged middle school on up. The message doesn't bonk the reader in the head, and it's a big relief in the end that good triumphs even though the brainwashing tempted Ji-li on more than one occasion. This book would be great in a classroom or book group - strong cultural and historical themes, also f ...more
This is a great book about the Cultural Revolution.
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I first read this book in middle school because it was on the Battle of the Books reading list. Prior to reading the book, I thought the Cultural Revolution referred to some clothing movement (sadly this is also a common misconception amongst Chinese youth). I devoured the book. Keep in mind that this really is a young adult novel and not as deep as most other books about individuals or families living through the Cultural Revolution. The author was a young teenager at the start of the movement ...more
Ange Batie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oh my goodness, this book touched my heart. My daughter is reading it for a history course she is taking this year called Key of Liberty. I always pre-read any books my daughters are assigned as part of a course. I had never heard of this book or Ji Li Jiang. But I am SO glad I have read it now. I knew surface stories about the Chinese Cultural Revolution, but had never studied it. This book made me cry. I cried for Ji Li, I cried for the Jiang family, I cried for the children & families put ...more
I would give this book three and a half stars if Goodreads would allow it. I found this book to be very enlightening. I don't know very much about the so-called Cultural Revolution in China's not-so-distant past. Ji-Li Jiang gives the reader a heartrending insider view of the localized and very personal impact and hardship imposed on the people of China by the Great and Supreme Tyrant Mao Zedong and his collaborators. I cringed while reading the book to see how easily neighbors turned against ea ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Marie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
My kids were totally drawn into this book and loved hearing it, even as they hated the injustices it described. History through the eyes of children and adolescents who experienced the events is such a powerful way of learning. My only concern was that it seemed fine for kids as young as 8 EXCEPT for one or two scenes where suicide is described in graphic terms. We could have done without those few words and been just as deeply moved.
Tareq Fares
ليست رواية بمعنى الرواية بل سرد للأحداث التي عاشتها الكاتبة في أيام الثورة الثقافية في الصين وما وقع عليها من ظلم هي وعائلتها بسبب كون جدها كان صاحب أملاك.

السرد للحكاية ممتاز ولكني وجدت مشكلة في متابعة أسماء الشخصيات لكونها تتكون من ثلاثة أجزاء معظمها متشابه.

يمكن ربط الأحداث مع أي تغير ثقافي يحدث في أي مجتمع بدعم سياسي (بالقوة) فتظهر مع تلك القوة فئة تفرض ثقافتها على باقي افراد المجتمع والأخطر هو ظهور فئة لا هم لها الا البحث عن مخالف لمضايقته باي وسيلة يملكها حتى يثبت انه المؤمن الوحيد بالفكر ا
this book always seems to be on the Summer reads table for YA readers at Barnes & Noble every year. Since it's written for YA readers, it's a quick read. After having read so many books about the rise of Nazi power prior to WWII, I wasn't surprised to discover much of the same government rhetoric used during the Cultural Revolution under Mao Tse-Tung. I remember briefly having studied the Cultural Revolution in Jr. High and I was surprised at how much of the turmoil of the Chinese had been w ...more
A.G. Werff
A wonderfully written true account of The Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution in China in 1966, told by twelve-year-old Ji-li Jiang. It astounds me that a real government (as opposed to a fictional one, such as in 1984 by George Orwell) can be so manipulative and can control so many through brainwashing, that even they think they are convinced that they have done something wrong, even if they haven't. This book is a good reminder to hold on to the freedoms enjoyed in the United States, and to ...more
Shaeley Santiago
I received an autographed copy of the book from the author who participated in an enlightening discussion with the YA for Teachers (and other adults) group in June 2013. I was interested in the book because we cover China and the Cultural Revolution In the World Studies class I co-teach. To me, the topic of the story made it a bit hard to read. While this is certainly not the most horrific or tragic book I have read recently, it was a hard pill to swallow mostly due to the senseless brainwashing ...more
This is an autobiographical account of a girl's experiences growing up in Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution in China (1960's). It is so perplexing that with so much evidence to the contrary, some still find something attractive and alluring about communism/socialism. The changing cultural values she experienced mimic our own in frightening ways. It ends beautifully. I'm so grateful she lived to tell her story and had the courage to do so. This book should be read and discussed by every generati ...more
I found this book kind of boring because I really didn't care for the cultural revolution. I found it boring because I just didn't have a lot of connections with it. The book was put together really good so I can see why you picked it out for our class. It has many things that some people might really enjoy but this was not the type of book for me.
It was pretty good, although at some parts of the book, I was thinking "she is an idiot...". It also felt somewhat like a YA novel, rather than a historical novel, not that that is a bad thing! :P
Brandon O'Neill
This is the book I was looking least forward to reading from the 8th grade summer reading list, and it turned out to be my favorite! I love it when a book does that. This is about a girl growing up (ages 12 - 14) during the Cultural Revolution in China. I had taught about the Cultural Revolution when I taught 9th grade, but to hear about it from a personal story was amazing. Not that it is a "fun" type of story - the fear, paranoia, class labeling, and destryoing personal property because it mi ...more
Sophie Zapoli
This story moves you to tears as Ji Li a bright student with a beautiful future layer out for her is caught in the Cultural Revolution with her family as a target. All she has ever known is taken away from her as China is brainwashed by Mao. An important book that captures the essence of what it was like to be an every day person at this time. Beautifully and hauntingly written, this is a rare account where we experience first hand the deeply revealing thoughts and emotions of a girl whose life ...more
The really good parts from this book is the strong images such as when the author said the corners were going brown and curling up, this made be think about marshmallows being toasted and thrown onto the paper. I thought this was a good image because I could clearly see this in my head as I was reading along.
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Synopsis 2 15 Oct 14, 2014 10:25PM  
MCMS Book Club: red scarf girl 3 5 Mar 26, 2014 07:16AM  
YA Reads for Teac...: June 2013 - Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang 52 55 Nov 03, 2013 12:23PM  
YA Reads for Teac...: May 2013 (February 2013 postponed) - Book Giveaway - Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang 49 95 Jun 02, 2013 03:51AM  
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Coming from Shanghai, China in 1984, where she used to be a school science teacher, author Ji-li Jiang studied in Hawaii then worked as a corporate Operations Analyst and Budgeting Director for several years. In 1992, she co-founded East West Exchange, Inc, a company created to promote and facilitate cultural and business exchanges between China and the western countries.

Ji-li’s first book, Red Sc
More about Ji-li Jiang...
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