Ji-li Jiang was twelve years old in 1966, the year that Chairman Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in China. An outstanding student and much-admired leader of her class, Ji-li seemed poised for a shining future. But all that changed with the advent of the Cultural Revolution, when intelligence became a crime and a wealthy family background invited persecution'or worse. For the next three years Ji-li and her family were humilated and reviled by their former friends, neighbors, and colleagues and lived in constant terror of attack. At last, with the detention of her father, Ji-li was faced with the most dreadful decision of her young life: denounce him and break with her family, or refuse to testify against him and sacrifice her future in her beloved Communist Party.
Told with simplicity, innocence, and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in twentieth-century history'and of one family's indomitable courage under fire.
â "A page-turner. Excellent."--School Library Journal (starred review) â "Engrossing. Transcends politics and becomes the story of one little girl trying to survive."--ALA Booklist "All the more powerful for the simplicity of its prose."--New York Times Book Review "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 and love for her family are truly inspirational for young and old alike."--Nien Chang, author of A Life and Death in Shanghai "I can only hope I would have shown the same decency and courage exhibited by Ji-li Jiang. Her actions remind me that, even under unbearable circumstances, one can still cling to love and justice. Above all, one can still hope for a happier tomorrow."--David Henry Hwang, playwright of M. Butterfly â "Heart-pounding. A page-turner. Excellent."--School Library Journal (starred review) â "Absorbing. Jiang views devastating developments with the wide-eyed innocence of youth."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)