My Name Is Number 4: A True Story from the Cultural Revolution

Here is the real-life story about the fourth child in a family torn apart by China’s Cultural Revolution. After the death of both of her parents, Ting-xing and her siblings endured brutal Red Guard attacks on their schools and even in their home.  At the age of sixteen, Ting-xing is sent to a prison farm far from the world she knows, where she survived for six years. Eventually, people left the countryside, and Ting-xing passed the entrance exam for Beijing University, the only person in the prison camp to do so.

The Cultural Revolution

On August 18, 1966, more than 1 million young people marched into the center of Beijing. They had come to answer the call of the country’s leader, Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Mao had just launched the Cultural Revolution in China, an attack on anyone who seemed to be betraying communist ideals. The young people who came to Beijing carried Maos violent message throughout the land. During the next three years, the Cultural Revolution brought chaos and bloodshed all around China.

 

Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of Mao’s Last Dancer

In a poor village in northern China, a small boy named Li Cunxin was given the chance of a lifetime. Selected by Chairman Mao’s officials from among millions of children to become a dancer, Li’s new life began as he left his family behind.

At the Beijing Dance Academy, days were long and difficult. Li’s hard work was rewarded when he was chosen yet again, this time to travel to America.

From there his career took flight, and he danced in cities around the world—never forgetting his family, who urged him to follow his dreams.

Red Land Yellow River: A Story from the Cultural Revolution

In 1966 Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution swept through China and transformed the life of Beijing teenager Ange Zhang. Ange longed to join the Red Guard with his classmates, but was denied membership after his father, a famous writer, was arrested and charged with being a counter-revolutionary. As Ange struggled to maintain his friends’ respect, he began to question the Revolution and his role in it.