The Red Piano

A beautiful and extraordinary account of international concert pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei’s hardships and triumphs while growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution, Stirring and inspiring, this picture book relates the story of a gifted young girl’s passion for the piano in a time of historic turmoil. During China’s Cultural Revolution a young girl is taken from her family and sent to a far-off labor camp. Forbidden to play the piano, she nevertheless finds a way of smuggling handwritten music into the camp and sneaking away at night to practice a piano in a secret location—until, one night, she is caught. Inspired by the amazing true story of international concert pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei, this acclaimed picture book poetically relates an astonishing story of perseverance set against a cataclysmic period of history.

China: A History

Discover the history of one of the world’s most influential civilizations. Based on the Cyrus Tang Hall of China exhibit at The Field Museum, China: A History traces the 7,000-year story of this diverse land. Full-color maps, photos, and illustrations of the people, landscape, artifacts, and rare objects bring the history of this nation to life! Young readers learn about prehistoric China, follow the reign of emperors and dynasties, and come to understand how China became the world power that it is today. The book also explores the role of children and women in everyday life as well as how religion, politics, and economics shaped the deep traditions and dynamic changes of modern China. This book stands alone from the exhibition and is a go-to resource for young readers looking to learn more about this powerful nation. It includes a timeline, bibliography, and index.

Chenxi and the Foreigner

Love in the time of the Tiananmen Square. Anna never imagined living in such a foreign place. Fresh out of high school, she has joined her father, who works in Shanghai. She’s eager to see China beyond the bicycle-crowded streets between their apartment, her father’s expatriate community and the art school she’s attending. That’s why she’s thrilled when her father hires a cute local — a fellow student named Chenxi — to be her translator and guide. Too bad Anna seems nothing but trouble for Chenxi. His ideas about art already rankle the authorities, and he could do without the added attention of being with a wai guo ren — a foreigner. Even so, he is intrigued by Anna’s brashness and the freedoms she takes for granted. But when Anna turns their friendship toward passion, her actions have consequences that are intensified by a watchful regime looking to get rid of disruptive artists. Set around the time of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and inspired by the author’s time spent in China as a teenager, Chenxi and the Foreigner crackles with emotion, ideas and authenticity.

Through Time: Beijing (Through Time)

Through Time: Beijing traces the rise and fall of great dynasties and the everyday lives of the citizens who prospered or suffered under their rule. Beginning in prehistoric times, an agricultural community slowly evolves. Farming villages then come under the control of a local lord, and by the medieval period an imperial palace is taking shape. This new capital is then overthrown by invading Mongols, who destroy it and build their own city. Later, the Mongols are replaced by the Ming, who create the legendary Forbidden City and rule China for the next five hundred years. The book’s fluent narrative text and beautiful illustrations tell the enthralling story of BeijingÑits triumphs, conflicts, and people–right up to the present day.