Catalogue


Snow falling in spring : Coming of age in China during the cultural revolution /
Moying Li.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
description
xiii, 176 p.
ISBN
0374399220, 9780374399221
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
isbn
0374399220
9780374399221
contents note
The great leap -- Starvation -- Lao lao and lao ye -- Gathering storm -- Home no more -- House search -- Mongolian melody -- Secret reading club -- Coming of age -- Hunan mummy -- Life assigned -- Temple of the sun -- The awakening -- Turning point.
catalogue key
6363126
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
IRA Children's Book Awards, USA, 2009 : Won
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
FromSnow Falling in Spring In front of Baba's eyes, they flung book after book onto the stone floor. One of them reached into a lower shelf for Baba's rare books. Dragging them out by their silk strings, he yanked them open. "Please," Baba pleaded, trying to free himself from the hands of his guard. "Don't touch those." The guard pulled Baba's arms back and tied a rope around them. Then the soldiers dumped all our books into large hemp sacks that they pulled from the back of the truck. "The paper factory will turn this trash into pulp in no time," they announced. When Lao Lao tried to plead with them, a soldier just pushed her away. Dragging the sacks through our gate, they flung them, one after another, onto the open truck. Then, hurling Baba on top of the bulging bags, the soldiers drove away in a cloud of dust, leaving my grandmother filled with sorrow . . . With our neighbors' help, I cleared the rubble. After everyone had left, I closed the door and all the windows and sank to the cold stone floor, my face buried in my arms. The sun was setting, and darkness was creeping into the house. Our bookshelves now stood naked in the shadows like proud but defeated old warriors.
Excerpt from Book
From Snow Falling in Spring In front of Baba's eyes, they flung book after book onto the stone floor. One of them reached into a lower shelf for Baba's rare books. Dragging them out by their silk strings, he yanked them open. "Please," Baba pleaded, trying to free himself from the hands of his guard. "Don't touch those." The guard pulled Baba's arms back and tied a rope around them. Then the soldiers dumped all our books into large hemp sacks that they pulled from the back of the truck. "The paper factory will turn this trash into pulp in no time," they announced. When Lao Lao tried to plead with them, a soldier just pushed her away. Dragging the sacks through our gate, they flung them, one after another, onto the open truck. Then, hurling Baba on top of the bulging bags, the soldiers drove away in a cloud of dust, leaving my grandmother filled with sorrow . . . With our neighbors' help, I cleared the rubble. After everyone had left, I closed the door and all the windows and sank to the cold stone floor, my face buried in my arms. The sun was setting, and darkness was creeping into the house. Our bookshelves now stood naked in the shadows like proud but defeated old warriors.
First Chapter

From Snow Falling in Spring

In front of Baba’s eyes, they flung book after book onto the stone floor. One of them reached into a lower shelf for Baba’s rare books. Dragging them out by their silk strings, he yanked them open.

“Please,” Baba pleaded, trying to free himself from the hands of his guard. “Don’t touch those.”

The guard pulled Baba’s arms back and tied a rope around them.

Then the soldiers dumped all our books into large hemp sacks that they pulled from the back of the truck. “The paper factory will turn this trash into pulp in no time,” they announced. When Lao Lao tried to plead with them, a soldier just pushed her away. Dragging the sacks through our gate, they flung them, one after another, onto the open truck. Then, hurling Baba on top of the bulging bags, the soldiers drove away in a cloud of dust, leaving my grandmother filled with sorrow . . .

With our neighbors’ help, I cleared the rubble. After everyone had left, I closed the door and all the windows and sank to the cold stone floor, my face buried in my arms. The sun was setting, and darkness was creeping into the house.

Our bookshelves now stood naked in the shadows— like proud but defeated old warriors.

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-02-25:
Recalling 2007's Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, a fictionalized autobiography by Ying Chang Compestine, this memoir also offers a highly personal look at China's Cultural Revolution. The author is four years old when Mao initiates the Great Leap Forward in 1958, and she describes the transformation of the family's shared, once lovely courtyard as the neighbors follow orders to erect a brick furnace and feed it all their metals in an attempt to produce iron and steel. Everyone, including the child narrator, willingly cooperates, but the instructions are flawed and everything is ruined. The episode prefigures what follows: diligence is repaid with destruction, obedience with chaos, loyalty with treachery. Li effectively builds the climate of fear that accompanies the rise of the Red Guard, while accounts of her headmaster's suicide and the pulping of her father's book collection give a harrowing, closeup view of the persecution. Sketches about her grandparents root the narrative within a broader context of Chinese traditions as well as her own family's values, establishing a basis for Li's later portrayal of the individuals around her who respond to oppression with hope and faith in knowledge and education. B&w family photos reinforce the intimate perspective. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"The simple, direct narrative will grab readers with the eloquent account of daily trauma and hope." Booklist, Starred Review "The narrative will enable readers to sympathize with Li and feel relief when she leaves to study at Swarthmore College after ten years of education in China."Kirkus Reviews
"The simple, direct narrative will grab readers with the eloquent account of daily trauma and hope." Booklist, Starred Review "Li effectively builds the climate of fear that accompanies the rise of the Red Guard... Sketches about her grandparents root the narrative within a broader context of Chinese traditions as well as her own family's values, establishing a basis for Li's later portrayal of the individuals around her who respond to oppression with hope and faith in knowledge and education." Starred,Publishers Weekly "Beautifully written...offers a somewhat broader view of a nation in turmoil and illustrates the grit and determination necessary for survival in a dysfunctional society." School Library Journal "The narrative will enable readers to sympathize with Li and feel relief when she leaves to study at Swarthmore College after ten years of education in China."Kirkus Reviews
"At its essence, this is a book about the value of readingto escape, to learn, to be sustained and to grow." The New York Times Book Review "The simple, direct narrative will grab readers with the eloquent account of daily trauma and hope." Booklist, Starred Review "Li effectively builds the climate of fear that accompanies the rise of the Red Guard... Sketches about her grandparents root the narrative within a broader context of Chinese traditions as well as her own family's values, establishing a basis for Li's later portrayal of the individuals around her who respond to oppression with hope and faith in knowledge and education." Starred,Publishers Weekly "Beautifully written...offers a somewhat broader view of a nation in turmoil and illustrates the grit and determination necessary for survival in a dysfunctional society." School Library Journal "The narrative will enable readers to sympathize with Li and feel relief when she leaves to study at Swarthmore College after ten years of education in China."Kirkus Reviews "Snow Falling in Spring joins other important books about the Cultural Revolution . . . as childhood testimonies to national trauma, cautionary tales for our own time, and appreciations for homes, old and new."San Francisco Chronicle
"At its essence, this is a book about the value of readingto escape, to learn, to be sustained and to grow." The New York Times Book Review "The simple, direct narrative will grab readers with the eloquent account of daily trauma and hope." Booklist, Starred Review "Li effectively builds the climate of fear that accompanies the rise of the Red Guard... Sketches about her grandparents root the narrative within a broader context of Chinese traditions as well as her own family's values, establishing a basis for Li's later portrayal of the individuals around her who respond to oppression with hope and faith in knowledge and education." Starred, Publishers Weekly "Beautifully written...offers a somewhat broader view of a nation in turmoil and illustrates the grit and determination necessary for survival in a dysfunctional society." School Library Journal "The narrative will enable readers to sympathize with Li and feel relief when she leaves to study at Swarthmore College after ten years of education in China." Kirkus Reviews " Snow Falling in Spring joins other important books about the Cultural Revolution . . . as childhood testimonies to national trauma, cautionary tales for our own time, and appreciations for homes, old and new." San Francisco Chronicle
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Booklist, February 2008
Publishers Weekly, February 2008
Boston Globe, April 2008
School Library Journal, April 2008
San Francisco Chronicle, May 2008
Boston Globe, June 2008
Horn Book Guide, September 2008
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
"Most people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself." In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father's precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba smuggles a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning. This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China's history as it tells the compelling story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution.
Description for Bookstore
Most people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself. In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father's precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba entrusts a friend to deliver a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning. This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China's history as it tells the compelling story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution.
Description for Bookstore
Most people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself. In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father's precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba smuggles a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning. This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China's history as it tells the compelling story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution.
Table of Contents
The Great Leapp. 3
Starvationp. 13
Lao Lao and Lao Yep. 22
The Gathering Stormp. 42
Home No Morep. 61
House Searchp. 78
Mongolian Melodyp. 86
Secret Reading Clubp. 98
Coming of Agep. 109
Hunan Mummyp. 116
A Life Assignedp. 122
Temple of the Sunp. 129
The Awakeningp. 140
Turning Pointp. 151
Epiloguep. 165
A Chronologyp. 166
Glossaryp. 169
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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