Synopses & Reviews
andlt;Iandgt;I was born in a small city near the East Sea,andlt;BRandgt; when the Great Cultural Revolution began.andlt;BRandgt; My name is Little Green,andlt;BRandgt; my country Zhong Guo, the Middle Kingdom. andlt;BRandgt; When I was ten years old,andlt;BRandgt; our leader had died and the revolution ended. andlt;BRandgt; And this is how I remember it.andlt;/Iandgt; andlt;BRandgt; When Chun Yu was born in a small city in China, she was born into a country in revolution. The streets were filled with roaming Red Guards, the walls were covered with slogans, and reeducation meetings were held in all workplaces. Every family faced danger and humiliation, even the youngest children. andlt;BRandgt; Shortly after Chun's birth, her beloved father was sent to a peasant village in the countryside to be reeducated in the ways of Chairman Mao. Chun and her brother stayed behind with their mother, who taught in a country middle school where Mao's Little Red Book was a part of every child's education. Chun Yu's young life was witness to a country in turmoil, struggle, and revolution -- the only life she knew. andlt;BRandgt; This first-person memoir of a child's view of the Chinese Cultural Revolution is a stunning account of a country in crisis and a testimony to the spirit of the individual -- no matter how young or how innocent.
"This memoir told in free verse poetry recounts Chun Yu's childhood experience until the age of 10, when Communist leader Mao died and 'the revolution ended.' The strongest poems offer an authentic childlike insight into the ideals and contradictions of the cause. When she was four for instance, she describes the propaganda being blared into her grandmother Nainai's home in the country, 'The loudspeaker of the radio would keep on talking,/ but after a while we didn't hear it anymore'; she recalls her father's hopeful musing about the promises of Communism ('Wouldn't it be nice if all this came true?'); and in a poem called 'Political Classes for an Eight-Year-Old,' Little Green memorizes teachings from Mao's Red Book, though 'I had no idea what this meant.' In 'Little-Person Books and a Story About the Forest,' Chun Yu effectively contrasts the revolutionary tract forced upon young people with the lure of the contraband 'children's books confiscated and burned at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.' However, because the poems offer episodic glimpses of Little Green and her family (much like the family photos that accompany the text), readers may feel distanced from the players, including the narrator herself. Still, Chun Yu delivers an unusual and at times memorable perspective on this turbulent period. Ages 10-up. A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In China in 1966, Chun Yu was born as the Great Cultural Revolution began under Chairman Mao. Here, she recalls her childhood as a witness to a country in turmoil and struggle--the only life she knew.
About the Author
Chun Yu was born in China in May 1966. After graduating from Peking University, she moved to the United States to pursue her PhD and a career in science. She now works as a principal scientist in a medical company Chun Yu lives in San Rafael, California.