Monday, September 1, 2008

Little Leap!

As a child I had a very hard time identifying with what it must be like to live in a communist country. After all I grew up in the time of Regan and my grandparents still talked about the red scare. It seemed as if China was another planet much less another country. Though I have still never had the chance to visit any of Asia I've traveled a lot and China does not seem as "odd" anymore though I still wonder what it must be like to grow up under Communist rule. Not being able to just go and buy what you want when you want seems like such an odd concept to me and I think to most modern day US children that would seem downright cruel especially in a country where its the norm not the exception where most kids have game systems, ipods, and computers.

Little Leap Forward is a boy growing up in China during the rule of the red guard, his mother is a widow, and its just him, his mother, and his sisters. Little Leap Forward takes pleasure in taking care of his pets and his best friend Little-Little. Though the entire book is set during a tense time in China's history and though there is some scattered mention of communism and the revolution Little Leap's self told story is one any child can relate to, friends, the joy of pets, learning to let something you love go, and of course a milestone in any child's life, a first love. All the while Little Leap is sharing bits of his culture, his country, and his struggles in a way that does not seem to overwhelm the young readers or make it feel as if its a history lesson. It's really just a great story that falls close to home no matter who you are and where you grew up. Honestly, what is a better way to learn about a culture than to feel as if you have been there?

Little Leap Forward written by Guo Yue and published by Barefoot Books is based on the true story of Guo Yue's life. Guo Yue shares his inspirations for the book in the Afterword and shares pictures of his family and himself growing up.

Little Leap Forward is available at Barefoot Books! Use code SCLLF8 to get 10% off your order of Little Leap Forward from now till Dec 31st.


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