Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

Ying Chang Compestine

Henry Holt and Co.

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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 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.
 
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Book Excerpts

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Mother picked up a stack of old newspapers from beside

the stove. Carefully, she checked every page before

laying it around a stool, setting two sheets with Chairman

Mao’s pictures on the counter. Months earlier, a nurse

had been sent to prison as an anti-Maoist just because

she lit her stove with a newspaper page with Mao’s

photo.

I noticed a cloth rice sack in the corner next to some

herbal medicine bottles and folded clothes. “Why are you

packing, Mom?”

Without answering me, she led me to the stool and

raked her hard-toothed

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Reviews

Praise for Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

*  “Readers should remain rapt by Compestine’s storytelling throughout this gripping account of life during China’s Cultural Revolution.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Laced in all the right places with humor, fury, fear, resolve and eventual relief, her childlike voice is carefully maintained over the sweep of four years—candid and credible, naive and nuanced.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“This child’s-eye view of the Chinese Cultural Revolution is ultimately a tale of survival; lyrical yet gripping, accessible and memorable, it’s based on the author’s experiences. Certain to inspire discussion about freedom and justice.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Authentic. . . . This semi-autobiographical novel comes alive with the author’s rich descriptions of the sights and smells of China at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.”—School Library Journal

“In clipped lyrical sentences, Compestine’s first-person narrative sets a naïve child’s struggle to survive against betrayal and courage in one neighborhood and also the political panorama of spies and slogans.”—Booklist

“Compestine does a good job giving young YA readers a realistic picture of what that period of history meant to individuals caught in the political nightmare. Certainly those with a Chinese heritage will find the story important to understand their own family history.”—KLIATT

“Beautifully descriptive phrases allow this autobiographical fiction to come alive with the colors of the clothing that are lovingly sewn for Ling, the aromatic preparations of the food that is cooked, and the genuine appreciation of school, work, and valued neighbors. . . . The simple narrative is [refreshing] . . . in its youthful disbelief of the hardships that have befallen them in a changing political situation.”—Voice of Youth Advocates

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About the Author

Ying Chang Compestine

Ying Chang Compestine grew up in China and now lives in California with her husband and son. She is the author of the young adult story collection A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts, as well as several picture books for children and cookbooks for adults.

Ying Chang Compestine

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Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party
Ying Chang Compestine

Award

American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association Notable Children's Books, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award, NCTE Notable Child. Bks in Lang. A , California Children's Media Award, Silver Medals, California Young Reader Medal Master List, Hawaii Nene Book Award Master List, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, NYPLC Children's Books 100, Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Henry Holt and Co.
August 2007
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805082074
ISBN10: 0805082077
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 x 7.75 inches, 256 pages
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Range: 5 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


Lexile: 740L
F&P Level A-Z: W
AR Quiz Number: 118284
AR Points: 6

$16.95

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
September 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312581497
ISBN10: 0312581491
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 3/16 x 7 5/8 inches, 272 pages
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Range: 5 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


F&P Level A-Z: W

$8.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Henry Holt and Co.
September 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429924559
ISBN10: 1429924551
Middle-Grade Fiction256 pages
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Range: 5 and up
$6.41
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Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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