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Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Moving Story

    Red Scarf Girl is a moving story that will touch your heart. It takes place in China at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. It is about a twelve year old girl, Ji-li Jiang. Ji-li is an excellent student and is a member of the young pioneers (a group of students in elementary school who prepare to be a future member of the Communist Party). Everything was going great until the Party found about of her families black political background. Ji-li begins to face many challenges and tries to make up for her family's past, but this proves to be almost too difficult for her.
    The major themes in this book are family, prejudice and courage. In the book Ji-li is very close to her family and they all protect and stick up for each other, but when her life starts to crumble due to her family's black political status she considers denouncing her family to ensure a better future in the Communist Party. Chairman Mao had brainwashed the Chinese youth to go to any means in order to make a better future for themselves, even if it meant turning your back on your beloved family. During the Cultural Revolution the Communist Party is very prejudice against families who had a black background. Your family would have a black political background if any of your family members, living or deceased, did something to oppose the Party. The Party thinks if one family member opposes the Party than the rest of the family opposes the Party. Ji-li must have the courage to overcome the prejudice against her family.
    I loved this book. It kept me interested the whole time while I was reading it. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the Cultural Revolution. This book shows you what communist China was like through the eyes of a young girl. I liked how the author writes in first person so it feels like you are there experiencing the events of the revolution. When you are reading this book you will learn how the government humiliated and tortured people who had the slightest flaw in their family's history. This book is very interesting and you will not want to put it down.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Read my post plzzzzz

    I just met ji li she is very nice and has many bad memories about this horribel time it is kind of like our 9/11 ps her dad is famos in rush hour 3 n 201 + many more wonderful grate book i hilghy sugjest it 4 u

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2007

    Chinas Change

    I think this book exspresses how china got rid of all the four olds witch came to be a hard task for china and how having little money was a good thing and the strugle of a little girls fight against the Chinise government. She is trying hard to keep her family from falling apart. This is a great book that I think every one should read!As you read you feel the same way the little girl feels and you see it like your are standing there watching it happen into history!! I really recomend this book!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004


    This book was FABULOUS! I am 11 years old and this book was the most educational book i've ever read!! I read it during school, and if i haven't learned about the Cultural Revolution and still read this book, it wouldn't of made a difference!!! It made me have mixed emotions; Happy, sad, and suprized. It is sad at some points, happy at other points....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012


    This book is pretty good. I had to read it for school(8th).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    Getting Through A Rough Time

    This book discusses what societies in China were like, focusing on one particular family and their difficulties during the Cultural Revolution. Ji-Li Jiang was a twelve years old when the revolution first started. Being a sixth grader, she was not sure what exactly was happening. After Mao Zedong started the Cultural Revolution, their family was in fear of everyone and everything. At times, the Red Guard would come in and tear apart the entire house looking for things they could not have. When her father was detained, life got even harder for her and her family, but they made it through. I enjoyed this book and learning about the Cultural Revolution. I found it was an easy read, but full of new information I didn't know before. I was surprised to read about the Red Guard and what they did to everyone that was of a lower power to them. One thing I didn't like was the lack of information in the beginning, but I caught up after a few chapters. I found that discrimination was brought up a lot against social classes and background information. I would suggest this book to people that enjoy learning about history, in an easy read. Also, to ones that enjoy adventurous books, with some depressing parts as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2015


    "Im sorry."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Pretty good, if you want to learn about communist China.

    The beggining of this book was pretyy good . It was intersting but it got boring at the middle and end. There was nothing distinct happening at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Red scarf girl

    Nice bok read it for school (7th) really interesting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    An excellent read Red Scarf Girl By Jiang Ji-Li is an excellent

    An excellent read
    Red Scarf Girl By Jiang Ji-Li is an excellent book in which a young women in middle is in the middle of the Cultural Revolution. She gives a detailed account of what happens from the perspective of a civilian child, all of the horrors and success that comes along with a revolution. This book focuses on the ties of family and friends during hard times and how important it is to stand united. This is a great book for people anywhere from 7th grade up through adult years. I loved this book because of how unpredictable it is. The story changes so fast just as life did during the Cultural Revolution in China. I recommend people read this book because it is a very thrilling suspenseful read. It kept me turning the pages all the way to the end. It is very well written in great detail from an actual survivor that went through it. Jiang Ji-Li was able to write her memories from when she was a child but made them better with her understanding of the whole situation now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Red Scarf Girl doesn┬┐t exactly have a storybook ending but it wa

    Red Scarf Girl doesn’t exactly have a storybook ending but it was a well written book that keeps the reader fully enveloped in the book. I loved that it was written from the perspective of a young child living in China during their cultural revolution; it allowed the book to be easily read by anyone who wants to read it. It helped show the world that not everything that is accepted is right. And that in the end family is the only thing that anyone has, by Ji-Li Jiang overcoming the obstacles forced upon her by her family past. She still is able to find a way to continue forward and even take of her family in the face of adversity. I did, however, dislike that, because it was written by someone that wanted to tell their story, it wasn’t as eloquently written as it could have been. Other than that I had no other dislikes about Red Scarf Girl. It was overall easy to understand and get enveloped in the story. I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a well written piece of literature that is sure to last throughout the ages. However, because it is of a more complex and adult nature it should be, in my opinion, read by people 13 and older. Other than that every one should read this. It was a wonderful book, I would rate it a 5 out of 5. It is great motivation to keep moving on no matter how bad things seem and to remember that the only easy day was yesterday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Ideology: A system of beliefs A simple yet powerful novel told

    Ideology: A system of beliefs
    A simple yet powerful novel told through the eyes of a young girl during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Ji-Li Jang shares her heart pounding struggle between her belief in Chairman Mao and the Communist Party, and her treasured family that is being ripped at the seams. At twelve years old she was an exceptional student and leader in her school, she had everything: brains, talent, the respect of her peers and a shining future in Chairman Mao's New China. But her life was suddenly flipped when the Cultural Revolution took action. She never thought her family would be accused of anything immoral, soon former friends and neighbors were degrading them and Ji-Li’s family lived in constant fear. Fear is one of the key themes throughout the book. The period of the Cultural Revolution was a time of fear, confusion, and violence in which the rules and traditions of the Chinese society broke down. During this time many innocent people where ruthlessly persecuted which of course lead to much terror throughout China from 1966-1976. I love how addictive, yet educating this book turned out to be. This moving story should be read by everyone young and old. The twists and turns launch you into a chaotic world that no one could imagine they would live in.

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  • Posted September 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Not exactly the fairytale ending, but a story that really has y

    Not exactly the fairytale ending, but a story that really has you frazzled. Red Scarf Girl, by Ji-Li Jiang, is a story on how the past can affect one’s future unexpected. The book takes place back in 1962, in China where a twelve-year-old girl experiences the Cultural Revolution. Chairman Mao, a leader of China at the time, had enforced the rule to get rid of any four-olds. Ji-Li never expected it to affect her the way it did until, she was chosen to audition for an arts academy, but denied for her father’s worry of exposure. The word got out of the family’s secrets of being landlords. A simple family history that Chairman Mao did not agree with has caused humiliation, precious belongings to be destroyed and a family to fall apart. Ji-li had the battle with herself, deciding if she should leave or stay. In the end, Ji-li realizes her family is the most important thing to her and whatever it takes, she will stand by them. This story was very exhilarating because it is interesting to read of major events that have affected other countries. To read on how a ruler can just decided what stays and what goes or what’s good and what bad is just heart breaking. Most of Ji-Li’s whole child hood and dreams were ruined simply because her father had a history of being a landlord. Connections between my life and Ji-Li, made the story more realistic. Though it was mostly interesting to read, I disliked at some parts it was really predictable. If someone is looking for a happy story or a story that uses mystery to capture ones attention, this is not the book. A person should read this because it teaches someone about a different culture, history and an important event that affected another country. My overall rating is a 4 out of 5 because the book had many parts that were breath taking, but had some slow moments where I felt no emotion, but as if I were just reading words. It is not recommended for small children or people who get bored and lost easily. If this book, is a like by a person, I would recommend Number of the Stars by Lois Lowery, a book that is a point of view from another child affected by a major historical event. Red Scarf Girl is one amazing book, I'd read it over and over again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    A fresh prospective on a not-so-well-known event in history. Red

    A fresh prospective on a not-so-well-known event in history. Red Scarf Girl, by Ji-Li Jiang is a look into the life of a little girl during the Cultural Revolution in china. Red Scarf Girl is a must read for anyone who enjoys History, dramatic stories, or Chinese culture. The story starts out with Ji-Li in the sixth grade. She had it all, wonderful friends, a loving family, and the top grade in her class. Then the Cultural Revolution starts to pick up steam, and we get to whiteness it firsthand. Through Ji-Li’s innocence, the Cultural Revolution looks very black and white. She then begins to realize that the government might not be telling her and her classmates everything. The goal of the Cultural Revolution was to get rid of the four olds and erase everything that might not be in support of the communist party. As it turns out, Ji-Li's great grandfather was a landlord, which is like committing a sin in the eyes of the communist party. Ji-Li's life is turned upside down when her peers start to reject her, her family's apartment is subject to multiple searches for no apparent reason, and her father is held for questioning. This book is quite interesting and it different to hear about these events through the eyes of a child instead of an adult. The only reason I did not care for this book was the fact that it took me about a week and a half to get through. That is because I am the type of person who wants to correctly pronounce and comprehend all of the Chinese words, so I would have to stop and look them up to understand their full meaning. China’s culture is very different from American culture and although Jiang is extremely good at explaining what the reason for various cultural traditions, it was, at times confusing and overwhelming to take in all at once. I did really enjoy this book and would highly recommend reading it, because it will definitely teach you about an event in Chinese history you probably have never heard of, and if you have, it will give you a brand new prospective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012


    Was a good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012


    I had to read it for school. Best non fiction ever

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    A Great Memoir-Very Interesting

    Ji-Li Jiangs' memoir of a young girl living in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution was a very sad book. It all starts when Chairman Mao attempts to get rid of what he calls the "four olds". These are beliefs and objects from the past. He does this by humiliating people if they are part or associated with the four olds. A group of red army soldiers would come to your house and ransack all that resembled the four olds such as pictures, etc. If your family in the past or now is very well off, then you are ridiculed for treating the working class without respect and this is the problem with Ji-Li Jiang. She must live her life knowing that her grandfather was the worst of the worst; a landlord.
    I had Quite enjoyed this book very much because of how the author describes how bad some people had it during this time period and how lucky we are to live the way that we do. I especially liked how he had related a part in the beginning of the book to his own life. He said his grandfather was in China during this time and he would send a picture of him standing if he was good, sitting if it was bad; he received a picture of his grandfather lying down. Though this was a very sad book, I had found it an interesting read.
    If you are interested in history in your own country and in others I would definitely recommend reading this book because though very brief, it does have a very good description to how hard those times were for the people that had lived there. If you like history, I would also recommend reading The Book Thief.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A story of perseverance and strength.

    What would you do if your family was forced live with a certain culture and lifestyle? Would you like if the culture and government of your country changed, obliterating the peace in your family? The book Red Scarf Girl by Jiang Ji-Li is a touching memoir about Ji-Li and her family's struggles during the Cultural Revolution, which was an act to change China's culture and government. The Cultural Revolution was lead by Chairman Mao. Jiang Ji-Li is a young girl of about 12 who lives in Shanghi with her mother, father, grandmother, and her two siblings. This book tells about her and her family as the Cultural Revolution destroys the peace in their life. Her and her family are criticized because of their family background. Her grandfather was a landlord, which was a bad thing during the Cultural Revolution, and her father is accused as a rightist. This memoir is a touching story of one girl who wants so badly to help with the Cultural Revolution and to help her family at the same time, which is a task that is hard for her to accomplish.

    The theme of this story is the strength and the perseverance of a young girl. Jiang Ji-Li is fearful for her family but she keeps trying to stop the criticizing and be her own person. Meanwhile, she is trying not to cause any trouble with the Red Guards, a group of youths that would search your house for any signs of the old culture. Jiang Ji-Li loves school, and is loved by the teachers. But when her family background gets in the way of what she is allowed to participate in, she is forced to come to grips that her life will never be the same again. For example, Jiang Ji-Li was part of the Revolutionary Committee, which is a group of students that promote the teachings of Chairman Mao. They make presentations, posters, and many other things to help with the Revolution. Ji-Li loves being in the Revolutionary Committee and is extremely up set when she is removed from the Revolutionary Committee, " 'Jiang Ji-Li,' Chairman Jin said at last. 'Yesterday we-that is the Revolutionary Committee-discussed your situation. Because of your political situation we decided to let Fang Fang replace you. You can go home now. I'll talk to you later.' " (pg. 228)

    Red Scarf Girl really made me think that we are lucky here in America to have our independence and not have to have a certain culture. Our country doesn't have one culture or belief that everyone has to follow, but in Red Scarf Girl, all people in China had to get rid of the old culture and bring in the new and everyone had to work to help Chairman Mao. Imagine if we had to follow all of the beliefs of our president. I would recommend this book to people 10 and over because it is sometimes very depressing and sad when you read about the way that people are treated if they don't follow the teachings of Chairman Mao. I thought that this book was very stirring for me because of how strong Jiang Ji-Li is. It was an inspiring story that I would recommend for a person looking for a very moving memoir.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A touching story

    Ji-li thought that her life and family was great. She was liked by her family she was an outstanding student in school and was loved by her teachers and peers. But most important to Ji-li was her belief in the Communist.Because Ji-li and her family always did what their government expected of them. However, the status of Ji-li and her family changed rapidly with the onset of the Cultural Revolution and its radical new value system. Ji-li soon found that neither her great intelligence very hard work or loyalty to the Communist Party mattered to Chairman Mao Ze-dong and the Red Guards. When the old ways and ideas were suddenly viewed as horrible anyone who was connected to them became a suspect. Because Ji-li's family was financially comfortable and her grandfather had been a landlord, she and her family were viewed bad to the Communist Party. They were publicly humiliated by there friends and their house was searched and ransacked by the Red Guards. The situation got worse when Ji-li's father was taken into jail. When he refused to confess to the counterrevolutionary activities of which he had been falsely accused the Red Guards confronted Ji-li and asked her to testify publicly against her father. It was the bigest decision of her life Should she ruin her family and break ties with them or refuse to testify and risk a future in China. I loved everything about this book it was a great touching book that told alot about China and helped me understand the way china works alot beter. They could of added more detail to the book. One mahor theme of this book is Individuality. You should read this if you are looking for a touching book. This book should definatly be read in the classroom to give kids a beter understanding of the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    the author pulls you in

    Red Scarf Girl was a very good book. It had alot of detail about everything that went on in the Cultural Revolution. I cannot even imagine going through what she had to face during her childhood. One of the very good parts in the entire book was when her father got detained for being a landlords son. It really made me think about how serious everything was during that time period. For me, it got a little confusing at times though. Overall I loved the book and I strongly recommend it.

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