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Publisher's Summary

Nine-year-old Ling is very comfortable in her life; her parents are both dedicated surgeons in the best hospital in Wuhan. But when Comrade Li, one of Mao's political officers, moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors and, soon, for herself and her family. Over the course of four years, Ling manages to grow and blossom, even as she suffers more horrors than many people face in a lifetime.

Drawing from her childhood experience, Ying Chang Compestine brings hope and humor to this compelling story for all ages about a girl fighting to survive during the Cultural Revolution in China.

©2007 Ying Chang Compestine (P)2007 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What members say

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An eye into everyday life during Mao's reign.

My children and I loved this book. It was a good pace and long enough to accompany us on a few of our monthly, hour long trips.

The characters were relatable, especially for my 9 & 10 year old. The story was appropriate for their age, although near the end it did get a little intense.

We really liked the performance and all of the different voices she did. My daughter thought there was more than one person, because the voices sounded so distinct.

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  • Ekaterina
  • 07-22-09

Wonderfully deep and moving story

Being born in a communist country myself, but haven't known how the whole "conversion" started and only seeing the consequences it was moving to hear a story of someone from another country, who witnessed the start of it and narrated it with a child's openness and uncorrupted mind. Incredibly moving story about human stupidity and human heroism on the other side. Beware though - if you are easily moved/even if you are not - do not listen while driving your car. I couldn't see the road as tears were streaming from my eyes...