OVERRIDE

Snow Falling in Spring

Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution

Moying Li

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Most people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself.

In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father’s precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba entrusts a friend to deliver a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning.

This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China’s history as it tells the compelling story of one girl’s difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution. Snow Falling in Spring is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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From Snow Falling in Spring

In front of Baba’s eyes, they flung book after book onto the stone floor. One of them reached into a lower shelf for Baba’s rare books. Dragging them out by their silk strings, he yanked them open.

“Please,” Baba pleaded, trying to free himself from the hands of his guard. “Don’t touch those.”

The guard pulled Baba’s arms back and tied a rope around them.

Then the soldiers dumped all our books into large hemp sacks that they pulled from the back of the truck. “The paper factory will turn

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REVIEWS

Praise for Snow Falling in Spring

“At its essence, this is a book about the value of reading—to escape, to learn, to be sustained and to grow.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The simple, direct narrative will grab readers with the eloquent account of daily trauma and hope.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“Li effectively builds the climate of fear that accompanies the rise of the Red Guard... Sketches about her grandparents root the narrative within a broader context of Chinese traditions as well as her own family's values, establishing a basis for Li's later portrayal of the individuals around her who respond to oppression with hope and faith in knowledge and education.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly
“Beautifully written...offers a somewhat broader view of a nation in turmoil and illustrates the grit and determination necessary for survival in a dysfunctional society.” —School Library Journal
“The narrative will enable readers to sympathize with Li and feel relief when she leaves to study at Swarthmore College after ten years of education in China.”Kirkus Reviews
Snow Falling in Spring  joins other important books about the Cultural Revolution . . . as childhood testimonies to national trauma, cautionary tales for our own time, and appreciations for homes, old and new.” San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Moying Li

  • MOYING LI, one of the first students to leave China for study abroad after the Cultural Revolution, came to the United States in 1980 on a full scholarship from Swarthmore College. She holds an M.A., an M.B.A., and a Ph.D. She lives in Boston and Beijing.


  • Moying Li
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Snow Falling in Spring

Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution

Moying Li

Massachussetts Book Award - Winner, IRA Children's and Young Adults Book Award, NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
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