Krista the Krazy Kataloguer's Reviews > Sparrow Girl

Sparrow Girl by Sara Pennypacker
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's review
Nov 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-childrens-books
Read in August, 2011

Unbelievably, this story is based on a true event that happened in 1952. Mao Tse-Tung ordered all sparrows in China to be killed because he thought that they ate too much of the wheat crop. Sparrow Girl is the story of Ming-Li, who loved the birds and, despite the law, determined to save some of the sparrows. Pennypacker does a great job of showing, through this tale, the consequences of upsetting the balance of nature. Sadly, in real life, though the sparrow population was decimated, the wheat crop was not more abundant. Because the birds were gone, the locusts thrived, and became a swarm that ruined the crops and caused famine. According to a note at the back of the book, between 30 and 40 million Chinese starved to death because of it. Combine this with Robert D. San Souci's The Birds of Killingworth for a class discussion about the interrelationship of man and birds. A 2010 Horace Mann Upstanders Award for Children's Literature Honor Book. Recommended!
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