China's Son: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution

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A candid memoir of growing up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution that is sure to inspire.
 
Da Chen grew up as an outcast in Communist China. His family’s legacy had been one of privilege prior to the revolution, but now in the Chairman Mao era, they are treated with scorn. For Da Chen, that means that all of his successes and academic achievements are nullified when one teacher tells him that, because of his “family’s crimes,” he can never be more than a poor farmer. Feeling his fate is hopeless, Da responds by dropping out.

Da’s life takes a dark turn, and he soon begins hanging out with a gang. However, all is not lost. After Chairman Mao’s death, Da realizes that an education and college might be possible. He begins to study–all day and into the night. His entire family rallies to help him succeed, working long hours in the rice fields and going into debt to ensure that Da has an education.
Their struggle would not be in vain. When the final exam results are posted, Da has one of the highest scores in the region, earning him a place at the prestigious Beijing University and a future free from the scars of his past.

This inspiring memoir, adapted for young readers from Colors of the Mountain, is one that will rally readers to defy the odds.

Praise for China’s Son
 
“Humor and unflinching honesty inform the narrative, which is shot through with lyrical descriptions.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Da Chen’s narrative moves smoothly, communicating setting and character with an immediacy that will draw young readers in.”—Kirkus Reviews
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About the author

Da Chen is a graduate of Columbia University Law School.
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4.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
Laurel Leaf
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Published on
Feb 19, 2009
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780307482792
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Language
English
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Genres
Young Adult Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage
Young Adult Nonfiction / History / Asia
Young Adult Nonfiction / People & Places / Asia
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A memoir in paintings and words by internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and teacher James McMullan.

A Booklist Top 10 Biography for Youth

“It is this dreamlike quality of my memories that I wanted to capture in some way in the paintings that accompany the text--to suggest in the images that the events occurred a long time ago in a simpler yet more exotic world, and that the players in that world, including me, are at a distance.”

Artist James McMullan’s work has appeared in the pages of virtually every American magazine, on the posters for more than seventy Lincoln Center theater productions, and in bestselling picture books. Now, in a unique memoir comprising more than fifty short essays and illustrations, the artist explores how his early childhood in China and wartime journeys with his mother influenced his whole life, especially his painting and illustration.

James McMullan was born in Tsingtao, North China, in 1934, the grandson of missionaries who settled there. As a little boy, Jim took for granted a privileged life of household servants, rickshaw rides, and picnics on the shore—until World War II erupted and life changed drastically. Jim’s father, a British citizen fluent in several Chinese dialects, joined the Allied forces. For the next several years, Jim and his mother moved from one place to another—Shanghai, San Francisco, Vancouver, Darjeeling—first escaping Japanese occupation then trying to find security, with no clear destination except the unpredictable end of the war. For Jim, those ever-changing years took on the quality of a dream, sometimes a nightmare, a feeling that persists in the stunning full-page, full-color paintings that along with their accompanying text tell the story of Leaving China.
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