Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

Fall 2007 Fiction
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Author: Ying Chang Compestine
ISBN: 978-0805082074
Hardcover Price: $16.95
Review:
In 1972, when Mao unleashes the "Cultural Revolution" upon China, Ling is nine. She lives in Wuhan, in a large apartment with her parents who are both doctors at the best public hospital in the city. Ling's mother is harsh, but her father, who gives her English lessons at night, is indulgent and loving. However, as the Cultural Revolution progresses, Ling's world changes.

Comrade Li, moves into their apartment, and takes over her father's study. At school, Ling becomes the target of bullies, because she is from a "bourgeois" family and not from the working class. The Red Guard, led by Comrade Li, attacks her friends in the upstairs apartment. Ling's father is arrested and taken away; Ling and her mother must struggle just to survive.

In this rich autobiographical novel, Compestine authentically depicts the slow but inexorable deterioration of Ling'sworld, capturing the frightening milieu of a small courageous girl who tries to understand what is happening around her.

Kemie Nix   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.


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