Red Land, Yellow River
Written by Ange Zhang
Publication Date October 01, 2004
Winner of the 2005 BolognaRagazzi Award.
When Mao's Cultural Revolution took hold in China in June 1966, Ange Zhang was thirteen years old. His father was a famous writer. Shortly after the revolution began, many of Ange's classmates joined the Red Guard, Mao's youth movement, and they drove their teachers out of the classrooms.
But in the weeks that followed Ange discovered that his father's fame as a writer now meant that he was a target of the new regime. When his father was arrested, he began to question everything that was happening in his country. Finally, Ange was forced to join many other young urban Chinese students in the countryside for re-education where he found the emotional space to develop his own artistic talent and to find that he, like his father, was an artist -- except that Ange's talent lay in painting and drawing.
This dramatic, painful autobiographical story is complemented by photographs, many drawn from Ange's personal collection, as well as non-fiction section that explains the historical period and is also illustrated with archival images.
Winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award 2005
Winner of the Rocky Mountain Book Award 2005
Short-listed for the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award 2005
Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Awards: Text 2004
Short-listed for the Norma Fleck Non-fiction Award 2005
Long-listed for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2005
Long-listed for the Red Cedar Book Award 2006
Selected for the CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection) 2005
Selected for the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award 2005
Selected for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) YA Top Forty (or so) List 2005
Ange Zhang has illustrated many books for Groundwood, most notably his memoir of growing up during the Cultural Revolution, Red Land, Yellow River, which won the Bologna Ragazzi Award. A former designer for the National Opera Theater in Beijing, he now works as an animation artist. He lives in Toronto.
"On nearly every page, Zhang's distinctive artwork opens a window into his past. At times painterly, at times reminiscent of silk-screened posters, his computer-assisted illustrations are beautifully composed and often dramatic." Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"...Red Land, Yellow River delivers a poignant reminder about the essential vulnerability of youth." Amazon.ca
"[A] breathtaking memoir...Red Land, Yellow River is an extraordinarily powerful recounting of a teen's experience of China's cultural revolution." Quill & Quire
"[A] moving account of a youngster swept up in the revolutionary fervor and then beginning to question its goals..." School Library Journal
"[An] intense autobiography, written matter-of-factly but with deep feeling...Ange's story will resonate with preteen readers; he shows that not even oppression can squelch individuality - a stirring message of hope." Publishers Weekly
"Although presented in picture-book format, this is a sophisticated personal reflection on the Cultural revolution..." Bulletin
"This is a fantastic book filled with emotionally poignant artwork, family photos, and narrative and non-fiction text. The audience is compelled to become immersed in the story." Resource Links