When Tai Shan and his father, Baba, are separated during China’s Cultural Revolution, they are able to stay close by greeting one another every day with flying kites until Baba, like the kites, is free. Includes historical note.
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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.
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.
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.