Red Scarf Girl
The story begins in 1966, right before Communist China’s Cultural Revolution. 13 year old Ji-Li Jiang has all a girl could want, welfare, good grades, popularity, and a bright future. The calamity begins when a member of the Liberation Army looks in Jiang’s town for future recruits. Jiang is nominated instantly, but her father refuses to let her run due to his own reasons. This greatly disheartens Jiang, but she gets over it quick enough. Then the Cultural Revolution begins, and the brainwashed populace begins to eliminate the “fourolds” (old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits). This revolution pumps up nearly exactly the opposite of what Jiang has and is doing (example: teachers accused of teaching the children rightist ideas, so she’s commanded to write a protest letter.). Slowly but surely everything she loves and holds dear becomes destroyed or mutilated, her friend’s grandma committing suicide due to her husband refusing to lend his bike to the new “Red Guards”, her father being imprisoned for something he never did, and constant persecution due to her grandpa being a landlord. After her own grandma is sentenced to sweeping the alleys, Jiang is called upon to take care of her family.