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A Memoir & History Lesson in One!
The story was well-written, interesting, funny, interspersed with the political state of China at the time. A story and history lesson all-in-one. Excellent read.
The Little Red Guard
Wen is a very likable and easy to relate to narrator. Living with a grandmother, who is from a time when they still bound woman's feet, he and is family try to navigate between the old customs and the new ways after Mao's cultural revolution. Burial is no longer an option, as Mao only endorses cremation, a fact that his grandmother finds horrible. The old customs dictate that she must be buried next to her husband so that they may be reunited. At the age of nine, as the oldest grandson, Wen is designated the coffin keeper and this coffin and the money needed to be saved for his grandmother's funeral plays an adverse effect on their lives. His writing style is very easy to follow and life under Mao is conveyed in ways that affected his family. When Mao dies, things change again and it is really difficult to imagine what the Chinese people have gone through in a relatively short period of time. Really found this book very interesting and showing the impact on one family made it all the more striking.