Red Scarf Girl

Red Scarf Girl

A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution

Book - 1997
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Ji-li Jiang recounts her experiences growing up under Chairman Mao's New China and then the dramatic changes which occurred to her and her family during the Cultural Revolution.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins, c1997
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060275853
Branch Call Number: DS778.7 .J53 1997
951.056 J61r
Characteristics: xvii, 285 p. ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

An outstanding student and much admired leader of her class, Ji-Li Jiang was poised for a shining future in the Communist party until the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Told with simplicity, innocence and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in 20th-century... Read More »

An outstanding student and much admired leader of her class, Ji-Li Jiang was poised for a shining future in the Communist party until the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Told with simplicity, innocence and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in 20th-century... Read More »

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Jul 16, 2020

Red Scarf Girl is an astounding book with amazing plot details. The central idea of the book is the oppression families of China faced during the Cultural Revolution. It depicts the author’s experiences in this time and all the mistreatment she faced because of her family background. This book attacks communism and the leader Chairman Mao through gruesome details of the harm that was caused because of this political turmoil. If you like history and amazing stories of brave refugees check this book out !

Jun 10, 2020

Red Scarf Girl is about the life of a girl during the cultural revolution in China. The story starts off with Ji-li and her siblings excited to bring a new change to the country called the cultural revolution started by Chairman Mao, the ruler of China during this period. At this point, Ji-li has no idea what troubles the cultural revolution will bring to her family. Ji-li’s family has been keeping a secret from her. A secret about her family past. Ji-li’s family struggles as the cultural revolution starts to peak and everyone including her friends and classmates are all turned against her and the whole family is constantly worrying about being arrested and being sent to jail. This book is based on a true story of the author. I enjoyed this book since it had a lot of tension and unresolved questions which I wanted to know the answer to. I think all teens would enjoy this book.

May 31, 2020

"Red Scarf Girl" showcases the daily life of Ji-li and how she had dealt with it during the Cultural Revolution of China from 1966-1976. Life for Ji-li was different than it is for kids today - kids would wear a specific uniform (a red scarf tied around your neck or arm to represent an emblem of the Young Pioneers), there were traditions that you were allowed to do, and carrying small red book about Chairman Mao's quotations was a must. It was tough for many people because they were already used to their own customs and it disappeared to start a new beginning. I would recommend this book to others whether you're doing a report about the Cultural Revolution, have a thing for history, or when you have nothing to do because "Red Scarf Girl" gives you a view of you being in someone else's shoes in the past.

Mar 30, 2020

Red Scarf Girl is an eye opening memoir written by Jiang Ji Li. She describes a period of her lifetime during the Cultural Revolution in her touching story. Her book recounts the ups and downs of her difficult life and takes readers on a journey of the life of a lower status Chinese at the time.The story starts off with twelve year old Jiang Ji-li, the main character and author, being summoned to the principal's office at her school for an opportunity to become a part of the Central Liberation Army Arts Academy. Ji-li was filled with joy! She was a steadfast student and excelled in martial arts. She would make the perfect Liberation Army dancer. However, her family was not as enthusiastic as she was about this idea. In fact, her father ordered her to decline the invitation. At the time, Ji-li was filled with confusion and frustration, unable to understand why her father would hurt her that way. Up until that day, she believed that she could achieve whatever she dreamed of. She would soon come to realize that dreams could not always be achieved, and instead class status determined one’s fate and future in the new era she had just entered. For that year was the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. The book encompasses Ji Li continuing her journey throughout the hardships of the Cultural Revolution. I definitely recommend this book because it gives readers a different perspective of the Cultural Revolution and its effects on society.

Dec 25, 2018

If this had been set in Germany during WW2 you would not be able to see a difference. What a horrible experience for everyone in China. This is a great first hand account through the eyes of a child.

Nov 28, 2018

Ages 11+

Vero_biblio Jun 27, 2017

While reading this account of a young Chinese girl living in the '60s, during the Cultural Revolution, you can only gasp at the similarities between this social and political atmosphere and that described in the fictional dictatorship of George Orwell in his classic novel '1984'. Old traditions, objects, or even friendship and kinship with people with 'questionable morals' are outlawed and punished without trial with humiliation, torture, and even death. Children are no exception, but worst, they are brainwashed by a young generation of communist leaders called the Red Guard...

Ricekrispies94 Jun 05, 2015

great book about a horrible time!

Dec 16, 2013

Since I read this book when I was in the sixth grade, I gave my rating accordingly for sixth grade readers. In addition to the comment on March 23 by Chiung-Hsi Lin, Ji-Li Jiang does a remarkable job illustrating the diverse experiences in China during the cultural revolution. Because the book is through the eyes of a 12 year old girl, readers can easily understand and empathize with her emotions, thought processes, and gain an introductory understanding of how the Cultural Revolution affected so many of its people.

If you're looking for a book to introduce you to the time period, Cultural Revolution, or Asian history, this would be a great place to start for personal reading.

Jan 09, 2012

The review above is so random. A hen? WTF! This is one of my favorite books of all time. I remember reading it when I was little and loving it. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested about the Cultural Revolution in China, because it depicts it through the innocent eyes of a young girl who doesn't quite understand or accept the changes occuring around around her.


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Jul 16, 2020

RR_6 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jun 10, 2020

Potato_Yummy thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 08, 2019

red_cheetah_5939 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Apr 09, 2018

navy_dolphin_603 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

blue_dolphin_11457 Aug 13, 2013

blue_dolphin_11457 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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EPLPicks_Teen Mar 25, 2010

The autobiography of a teenager's life in China during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s.


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Feb 28, 2015

"...As soon as I said it, I realized that I had made my promise to them--to everyone in my family--long ago. I had promised during the days that Grandma and I had hidden in the park; I had promised when I had not testified against Dad; I had promised when I had hidden the letter. I would never do anything to hurt my family, and I would do everything I could to take care of them. My family was too precious to forget, and too rare to replace..." (p. 262-263)


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