Red Land Yellow River: A Story from the Cultural Revolution

Overview


When Mao’s Cultural Revolution took hold in China in June 1966, Ange Zhang was thirteen years old. Ange’s father was a famous writer whose "Yellow River Cantata" was considered by many to be the anthem of the Chinese Revolution. Shortly after the revolution began,many of Ange’s classmates joined the Red Guard, Mao’s youth movement, and they drove their teachers out of the classrooms. Ange and his friends now spent their days memorizing Mao’s quotations and pasting posters in the streets. But in the weeks that ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $7.38   
  • Used (12) from $0.00   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview


When Mao’s Cultural Revolution took hold in China in June 1966, Ange Zhang was thirteen years old. Ange’s father was a famous writer whose "Yellow River Cantata" was considered by many to be the anthem of the Chinese Revolution. Shortly after the revolution began,many of Ange’s classmates joined the Red Guard, Mao’s youth movement, and they drove their teachers out of the classrooms. Ange and his friends now spent their days memorizing Mao’s quotations and pasting posters in the streets. But in the weeks that follow Ange discovered that his father’s fame as a writer now meant that he was a target of the new regime and that Ange himself was characterized as a "black kid," unable to join the Red Guard. Ange’s whole world had fallen apart.When his father was arrested, he began to question everything that was happening in his country. He secretly read every book in his father’s library, and through his reading discovered the beginnings of another view of the world.

Finally, Ange was forced to join many other young urban Chinese students in the countryside for re-education. While life in the village was challenging physically, Ange found emotional space to develop his own artistic talent.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this intense autobiography, written matter-of-factly but with deep feeling, artist and designer Ange recounts how the revolution shaped his life. A teenager in 1966, the son of Communist Party officials, Ange is among the "good guys" until his father, a famous writer, is publicly humiliated and arrested by the Red Guards, "Chairman Mao Zedong's specially chosen troops." Labeled a "black kid," he is shunned by his schoolmates. His desire to conform leads him to become involved in a faction of the Red Guard until a group from a rival faction violently beats him, and the experience unravels his idealism. When in 1968 Mao sends all students to the countryside to work as laborers, Ange discovers another source of inspiration: painting. ("I had found my own path at last, the path that would allow me to express myself as a human being.") His talent is evident in the book's shadow-dappled, realistic illustrations, which quietly convey not only revolutionary chaos but also the "color, beauty, joy and kindness" he finds in art. Interspersed family photographs and images of archival artifacts (old books and stamps) create a textured and intriguing visual mix, and endnotes offer additional details on Mao and provide important historical context. More than a history lesson, Ange's story will resonate with preteen readers; he shows that not even oppression can squelch individuality-a stirring message of hope. Ages 8-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Zhang was a teen living in Beijing when Mao Zedong began the Cultural Revolution. In a youthful voice he records his experiences in the early years of that turbulent decade that began in 1966. The son of a "bad guy" (a famous writer) and hence denied admission to the Red Guard troops, the boy set up his own one-person Red Guard unit, participated in some of the struggles that occurred between units, and in 1968 was sent to a small village to learn how to farm. There he discovered his true calling, that of an artist. This moving account of a youngster swept up in the revolutionary fervor and then beginning to question its goals is accompanied by attractive, digitally rendered illustrations often covering an entire page, and sometimes almost a complete spread. There are occasional archival photographs, mainly of Zhang's family. An epilogue sets the historical perspective.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888994899
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 9/10/2004
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 982,597
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2005

    gorgeous art, important historical lesson

    Experience the Chinese Cultural Revolution through a teen¿s eyes in Ange Zhang¿s straightforward and poignant autobiography. After his father, an intellectual seen as a counter-revolutionary, is publicly humiliated and later arrested, Zhang¿s shame grew, as an adolescent¿s could, towards his own family. In 1966, at the age of 13, he wants desperately to fit in, and not be labeled the ¿bad guy¿s son¿. In time, Zhang creates his own faction of the Red Guard, alienating himself further from his family until an experience unravels his fervent idealism. Gradually, he is re-awakened when he discovers his father¿s hidden books. Locked in bookcases sealed with paper strips bearing the Red Guard¿s seals, Zhang takes the hinges off the book case doors to keep the locks and seals intact. Day after day he stays inside his house reading banned books by Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, and Jack London. He realizes through reading that each of us is unique and needs to pursue our own destiny. By the end, his family is re-united and Zhang is able to pursue the life of an artist. Zhang¿s moving account is illustrated with lush digitally rendered pictures of everyday life during Mao¿s Cultural Revolution, and accompanied by reproductions of period posters, black and white photos and artifacts. His striking artwork is reminiscent of silk-screened posters, and you will be astonished by his lovely work. A fine appendix expands the historical context. Earning a *Starred Review* from Booklist, Zhang¿s stirring experience gently unpacks a hopeful message to resonate with all pre-teens: oppression cannot squelch individuality and the power of dreams. For ages 8 and older.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)