Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

EconKids Home Older Children and Young Adults: 2008 Snow Falling in Spring / by Moying Li

Snow Falling in Spring / by Moying Li

Title: Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution
Author: Moying Li
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

ISBN: 978-0-374-39922-1
Year: 2008

Concepts:  scarcity, allocation, distribution, production, economics of government

Review: Moying Li tells the harrowing story of how the Cultural Revolution in China changed her and her family's life. Li, 12, was the daughter of an educated family who loved European and American literature. She was studying English at a language institute when the Cultural Revolution swept over China. Anyone suspected of associating with Europeans or Americans, or having sympathy for Western ideas, was in danger of being denounced and imprisoned. Schools and universities were closed, and the students were sent to the countryside for "reeducation" and forced to do farm work and heavy labor. Li's father was denounced and her grandmother's library was destroyed by the Red Guard. The family was scattered; her father was imprisoned and her teachers were publicly humiliated.

"The days of the Cultural Revolution ticked away like minutes on a faceless clock," writes Li. Li and her friends started a secret reading club in order to continue their studies. Despite China's harsh political and economic conditions, Li never gave up her love of learning and English literature. In simple and evocative prose, she tells the fascinating story of an important period of contemporary Chinese history.

Review by:
The Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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