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1. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the
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2. India (Eyewitness Books)
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3. The Silk Route : 7,000 Miles of
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4. Tibet Through the Red Box : Through
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5. One Thousand Paper Cranes : The
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6. Eyewitness: Ancient China (Eyewitness
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7. Exploration into India (Exploration
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8. Life In Ancient Japan (Peoples
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9. Ancient India: What Life Was Like
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19. The Rise of Modern China (20th-Century
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20. China's Long March: 6000 Miles

1. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
by Ji-li Jiang
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064462080
Catlog: Book (1998-10-31)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 26820
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1966 Ji-li Jiang turned twelve. An outstanding student and leader, she had everything: brains, the admiration of her peers, and a bright future in China's Communist Party. But that year China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launched the Cultural Revolution, and everything changed. Over ht next few years Ji-li and her family were humiliated and scorned by former friends, neighbors, and co-workers. They lived in constant terror of arrest. Finally, with the detention of her father, Ji-li faced the most difficult choice of her life.

Told with simplicity and grace, this is the true story of one family's courage and determination during one of the most terrifying eras of the twentieth century.Ji-li Jiang was twelve years old in 1966, the year that Chairman Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in China. An outstanding student and much-admired leader of her class, Ji-li seemed poised for a shining future. But all that changed with the advent of the Cultural Revolution, when intelligence became a crime and a wealthy family background invited persecution'or worse. For the next three years Ji-li and her family were humilated and reviled by their former friends, neighbors, and colleagues and lived in constant terror of attack. At last, with the detention of her father, Ji-li was faced with the most dreadful decision of her young life: denounce him and break with her family, or refuse to testify against him and sacrifice her future in her beloved Communist Party.

Told with simplicity, innocence, and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in twentieth-century history'and of one family's indomitable courage under fire.

01 Blue Spruce Award Masterlist (YA Cat.)

... Read more

Reviews (74)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Red Scarf Girl: A Girl With Determination
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang was a fascinating memoir about Ji-li's life during the Cultural Revolution. This book exceptionally demonstrates the qualities of a hero, presented by Ji-li's actions. Ji-li was a smart, determined leader and she always stood up for what she believed was right, all of which are qualities of a hero.
A person would not only be drawn to this book because it takes place during the Cultural Revolution, which was a horrible time period for many people living in China then, but because it is about a girl going into junior high school who is strong, inside and out, by standing up for what she believes is right, no matter what criticism and punishment she faces on her quest to make things right. In this book, Ji-li comes from a family of bad class status because her grandfather was a landlord. The Communist Party, which Ji-li belongs to, is run by Mao Ze-dong who is trying to reform China by getting rid of the Four Olds: Old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. The Red Guard, a group of teenagers who live to serve Mao Ze-dong, search the homes of families with bad class status to confiscate any objects and possessions that might have fallen into the category of one of the Four Olds. Since Ji-li was born into a family of bad class status, she is told that she still has a chance to become an educable child. She would have to do whatever it took to prove herself loyal to Mao Ze-dong, even if it meant breaking from her family. One night, Ji-li's father is arrested by the citizens of Shanghai, the city where the story takes place, and Ji-li has to decide between two choices: whether to break off relations with him and her family to become an official supporter of Mao Ze-dong, or to support her father and family, which would cause her to sacrifice any future that she would have in the Communist Party.
An example of when Ji-li demonstrates her heroic nature was when she was able to stand up to her enemies, Du Hai and Yang Fan. Ji-li was being teased by them for saying things that were Four Olds. They were tormenting her so much that finally, she was able to come back with thing that they had done which were Four Olds also. This part of the book is significant to the idea of heroism because part of being a hero is standing up to your enemies and not letting anyone bring you down.
"Not me. I'll never be a quitter." This is a quote from a part in the book where Ji-li is given one more chance to prove her loyalty to Mao Ze-dong by working in a rice field as summer labor. This is a terribly difficult job, working for many days bending over rice plants in the scorching heat. One day as she was working, Ji-li faints from exhaustion. Her friend, Chang Hong who is a member of the Red Guards, says that she should stop working in the fields, but Ji-li doesn't want to give up. She loves her family and she also loves Mao Ze-dong and the Communist Party, so she feels that summer labor is the only way that she can have them both. This scene in the rice fields symbolizes how determined Ji-li is and how she will never give up on a task, no matter what the circumstances are; a true quality of a hero.
This story about Ji-li in the Cultural Revolution brings out the qualities that are put together to convey the theme of an exceptional hero. The heroic actions that Ji-li takes to stand up for what she believes in makes this story very enjoyable and uplifting even when her family is going through emotional struggles. This story is well-written and detailed and anyone who is interested in China and the Cultural Revolution should read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A review of Red Scarf girl
In today's world, people are taught that heroic people must influence the masses. Only those who have monumental physical strength, celebrity status, or piles of money have the resources to affect the world around them. Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang disproves these notions. This non-fiction book tells the story of a 12 year-old girl growing up in the midst of the Cultural Revolution who becomes a hero to her family. The glossary at the end of the book defines the Cultural Revolution as "The social and political upheaval that overtook China from 1966 to 1976. During this time many innocent people were ruthlessly persecuted. THe Cultural Revolution was launched by Chairman Mao, supposedly to rid the country of anti-Communist influences. Long afterward it was revealed that Chairman Mao unleashed this chaos in order to protect his own political position." (pg. 276) Red Scarf Girl is a moving, well-written story.
The book opens with a prologue, in which Ji-Li tells the reader the single most important lesson in school: "Heaven and earth are great, but greater still is the kindness of the Communist Party; father and mother are dear, but dearer still is Chairman Mao." (pg. 1) The people of China are brainwashed with this mantra, but Ji-Li does not feel it plays a large role in her life until sixth grade. Always a high achiever, she is looking forward to attending Shi-yi, an elite middle school. Then, Chairman Mao nullifies all teacher recommendations and divides children into schools by neighborhood; meaning Ji-Li will not go to Shi-yi. This is only the beginning of Ji-Li's problems. She becomes an outcast in school, her house is searched and Communist officers take everything of value, all because of her family's middle class status. Ji-Li's father is held in prison because his father was the evilest of all men - a landlord. Ji-Li is offered freedom from her "black" (non-Communist) class status by Communist officers. All she has to do is break from her family and testify against her father. No 12 year old should have to make the decisions she did.
Ji-Li Jiang used literary techniques to tell her story effectively. She is very descriptive, for example, "The kitchen, located on the landing and crowded with pots and pans and a two burner stove, was crowded and stuffy. With the heat from the sun outside and the heat from the stove in front of me, I was simply melting." (pg. 90) Ji-Li uses dialogue to make the story more interesting. Though she may not have remembered exactly what everyone said, the dialogue keeps the book moving. Although the book does not tell of her life throughout the entire Cultural Revolution, the book has a satisfying ending; not a fairytale finish, but a hopeful one. All of these storytelling elements enrich Red Scarf Girl.
One of the most important qualities of a hero is selflessness. Ji-Li Jiang showed this repeatedly. A Communist officer offered to let her change her name in order to break from her "anti-Communist" family. She almost does, but then, "I thought of Aunt Xi-wen lying in the alley (being punished for having bad class status), and Shan-Shan (her son, who had "broken" from her) walking right past her. I jumped up and ran out." (pg. 215) Later, people from her father's work unit pulled her out of class and gave her a very serious decision to make. "'As I told you before, you are your own person. If you want to make a clean break with your black family, then you can be an educable child and we will welcome you to our revolutionary ranks'...I saw myself standing in the middle of the stage, facing thousands of people...condemning Dad for his crimes, raising my fist to lead the chant." (pg. 224-5) Ji-Li refuses his offer, which meant that although she would be frowned upon in society, she would remain faithful to her family. It would have been easy for Ji-Li to change her name or testify against her father to save herself. Heroes, however, have the strength to be selfless.
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang shows how one 12 year old had the strength to be a hero, to be selfless. Ji-Li was not rich, very physically strong, or well-known. She only put others before herself, a truly heroic action. Clearly, Ji-Li Jiang put her best effort into this book. Red Scarf Girl is exceptionally written, and can inspire everyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This is a wonderful book that drew me in. I really felt for Ji-Li Jiang, the main character. I read it when I was in elementary school and didn't know anything about the Cultural Revolution. It educated me and I also liked how realistic it was (that's because it is a true story) and how Ji-Li agreed with communism, and it took a long time for her to realize how wrong it was even though she herself suffered a lot.

It's not five stars though. It's a good book and I can't find anything wrong with it, but I've read better and it's not one of my favorite books. But I still highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mao's Reign Exposed Through a Child's Eyes
Ji-li opens up to the world what her suffering meant to her in her childhood. Her bravery held her up through the beginning of communism in her country. Red Guards (supporters of the Cultural Revolution) roamed the streets, ransacked homes, beat teachers, and took Ji-li's father to "detention". The pain of Ji-li flows through the book. The before admiration of her peers went to hate. The bright future as a Red Guard becomes dark. Ji-li's hopes and dreams fall from automatic judgment and ancestry. Ji-li's story is devastating but her determination in Mao's dark world is inspiring.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Having spent several years of my childhood in Hong Kong, I've had an ongoing interest in Chinese culture and history. When I read this book, I felt that this was a book I wanted to share with everyone.

Red Scarf Girl gives us a window into the life of a girl growing up during the Cultural Revolution - a time of great upheaval in China. Having read "Life and Death in Shanghai," by Nien Ching, several years earlier, I had already been given an excellent perspective of what it must have been like to live through this period as an adult. Now, I was fascinated to see the years of the revolution detailed through the eyes of a young girl who was trying not just to survive, but to rationalise, accept, and believe in what she saw happening around her.

This is a very moving account and I believe that anyone could benefit from reading it unless they are determined not to let that happen. ... Read more


2. India (Eyewitness Books)
by Manini Chatterjee, Anita Roy
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
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Asin: 0789489716
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Sales Rank: 40318
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Discover the people and traditions of one of the most dynamic countries in the world.

Discover the rich diversity of the world's most populous democracy in this stunning guide. Witness the beauty of the Taj Mahal, learn how India gained its independence, discover the splendor of the Mughal dynasty, and much, much more. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Heavy but Worth it!
These DK white books are uncommonly heavy. They don't have as much detailed information as the Blue Guides or Rough Guides, but are good for brief visits or first timers. Where they excell is their outstanding illustrations and diagrams, often cutaways. The maps are good, but the labeling system makes it difficult to locate things easily. Lots of full page color photos give a preview of the trip. It's a daunting task to try to cover India in a single guide, but this book almost does it. It's well organized, color coded by region. The picture of Palitana in the Gujarat section became the foundation for that section of our 2003 trip to India [ cascoly.com/trav/india.asp ], and the diversion provided one of the highlights of the entire 6 week trip.

Bottom line? Your best bet is to get the Rough and Blue Guides, then be sure that someone else on the trip is carrying the DK. Or buy the books you need, and then just scan the pages you need to bring with you. ... Read more


3. The Silk Route : 7,000 Miles of History
by John S. Major
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064434680
Catlog: Book (1996-04-30)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 152752
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Book Description

Silk has long been considered a symbol of wealth and luxury. But thousands of years ago, the production of silk cloth was one of China's most prized secrets. So how did silk become one of the most sought-after materials in the world?

With lavish illustrations and a highly informative text, The Silk Route traces the early history of the silk trade-from the mulberry groves of China to the marketplace in Byzantium-and explores how two of the world's greatest empires were brought together, forever opening the channels of commerce between East and West.

... Read more

4. Tibet Through the Red Box : Through The Red Box (Caldecott Honor Book)
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374375526
Catlog: Book (1998-11-05)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Sales Rank: 27718
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

As a child in 1950s Czechoslovakia, Caldecott Honor-winning artist Peter Sís would listen to mysterious tales of Tibet, "the roof of the world." The narrator, oddly enough, was his father--a documentary filmmaker who had been separated from his crew, caught in a blizzard, and (according to him, anyway) nursed back to health by gentle Yetis. Young Sís learned of a beautiful land of miracles and monks beset by a hostile China; of the 14th Dalai Lama, a "Boy-God-King"; and of "a magic palace with a thousand rooms--a room for every emotion and heart's desire." Hearing these accounts--some extravagant but all moving--helped the boy recover from an accident. The stories also allowed Sís's father to relate an odyssey other adults didn't seem to want to know about in cold war Czechoslovakia. "He told me, over and over again, his magical stories of Tibet, for that is where he had been. And I believed everything he said," Sís recalls. Still, after some time he too seemed to become immune, and the stories "faded to a hazy dream." With Tibet: Through the Red Box Sís finally pays tribute to this fantastical experience, illustrating key pages from his father's diary with complex, color-rich images of mazes, mountains, and mandalas. He also produces pictures of his family at home--simple, monochromatic images that are just as haunting as their Himalayan counterparts. In one, a wistful mother and two children gather around a Christmas tree, the absent father appearing as a featureless silhouette. Tibet is a treasure for the eyes and heart. Some will ask: Is it for children or adults? Others will wonder: Is it a work of art or a storybook? One of the many things that this book makes us realize is that such classifications are entirely (and happily) unnecessary. (Click to see a sample spread. Illustrations copyright ©1998 by Peter Sís. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.) --Kerry Fried ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars An enchanting and magical book
Tibet: Through the Red Box by Peter Sis is a book that I would recommend to almost anybody. Its beautiful and very unique illustrations keep the interest of the reader to the very end, and the many short but magical tales about the palace with thousands of rooms, the messenger adorned with bells who brought his letters to the depths of the forests etc. are so enchanting yet poignant too. All the stories of his father's encounter in Tibet arouses our interests about Tibet and the hidden magics in it.

A bonus of this book is that it contains hidden messages that can be discovered by the careful and attentive reader, on technology and its devastation and the thin line between fact and fiction.

Be warned, if you have no intentions to visit Tibet in the future or be greatly tempted to, do not read this book. It is so enchanting that you could not resist a visit there yourself.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Beautiful
I feel so lucky to have stumbled across this book in a used books store (Sorry Amazon!) The illustrations are amazingly beautiful. You could spend a whole day reading this children's book and admiring the incredibly detailed illustration. The story is also a very different perspective on the Chinese invasion of Tibet, an exciting personal adventure, and a touching examination of a father/son relationship. I recommend it to children and adults, and anyone who would enjoy a beautiful book of art.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book for my children and my children's children
My children are mostly grown; and today, when we remember growing up "together", we sometimes talk about books that they (we) loved when they were young. This is one such book, published just in time to share with my youngest, who was ten at the time. The story is mysterious and complex and involves simple spiritual discoveries made by the artist's father when he was lost in Tibet. The rich, delicate artwork and thoughtful reflections are layered and you can return to the book over and over and find new ideas, beautiful images, magical details . This book will feed the spirit of a thoughtful child and remain with them as they grow. My daughter and I treasure this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read closely and read again
It has been my privilege to read and re-read this book with some teenagers who have formerly claimed their reluctance to read. Peter Sis gave us all the opportunity to read the pictures first: why the sepia toned photos and the father-shaped holes? Why the mandelas? The maps? The diary entries? Once engaged, and fuelled by the tidal oscillations of the various layers of drawings, composed symphonically, we could not help but read the book. For a generation accustomed to video players this book let us pause, fast-forward, rewind... a book to read forwards, backwards, and inside out. Sis lets us know that books are a treasure, that books can walk beside us for a lifetime and nourish the mind and soul in imaginings... I add this one to my list of 1000 books I would proudly give to any child.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous *adult* book in children's book format
Tibet: Through the Red Box is an entrancing and beautiful book. However, it is one of the new subgenre of "children's books for adults" - it may look like a picture book, but it is *not* suitable for young children.

Tibet is very like Maus: A Survivor's Tale, the award-winning graphic novel that bears only superficial resemblance to a standard graphic novel. In Tibet, as in Maus, a son tells his father's story - and what a story it is. Peter Sis' father was a documentary filmmaker who was hired by the Chinese to make a documentary about the building of a bridge in a remote province - and instead ended up losing his crew and witnessing the taking of Tibet.

Sis does a remarkable job of transmitting to the reader his father's love of Tibet and its mysteries and magic. Using tales his father told him, he creates an image of a dream land, a fantasy land, where weird and wonderful things happen. It's impossible not to love Sis' vision of Tibet - and therefore, impossible not to be sad that the Chinese take it.

I've said that the book is not for children, and I stand by that. However, I do believe that a child who is 6 or older could enjoy this book, provided it was read to him by an adult, and provided that that adult could cushion and explain some of the harder truths, not to mention some of the blending of fantasy and fact.

Peter Sis' father's story is incredible, and the book is marvelous. Any adult who loves books or history would love Tibet: Through the Red Box. ... Read more


5. One Thousand Paper Cranes : The Story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Statue
by TAKAYUKI ISHII
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
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Asin: 0440228433
Catlog: Book (2001-01-09)
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Sales Rank: 97096
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Memorable and heartbreaking...
...this is the kind of book that continues to haunt you long after you put it down. I read this book in elementary school and then stumbled across it as an adult - even re-reading it as an adult, I was shocked by the descriptions of the damage done by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This book is a must-read. As an American, I believe that the atom bomb was a necessary evil to stop World War II; however, as a human, I believe the atom bomb was a horrible atrocity unleashed on millions of people, including a child named Sadako whose story is poignantly told here. This book is an eye-opener, a heart-wrencher and a beautiful story.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book everyone should read
No matter what side you are on in the debate on the use of the atomic bombs during WWII, this is a "must read". As a science teacher, I read this book to my Advanced Chemistry class at the conclusion of our nuclear chemistry unit. However, I have yet been able to read it through without crying. And I have not been alone. Sadako's story should teach us all a lesson. My students may not remember the specifics of chain reactions or nuclear decay. But I guaruntee that they will remember Sadako's story. I want them to be informed citizens who make educated choices. One thing that history has shown us is that it repeats itself. What a horrible thought.......that another little girl become a "Sadako". I would hate to think that next time her name might be an American one......It chills me to the bone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Companion Book to Eleanor Coerr's Sadako
Often fiction leads us into a story and leaves us helpless to change anything. Takayuki Ishii's book takes us into the real world of Sadako Sasaki who died of leukemia years after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. This is a well researched document, with family and classmate interviews, which sheds light on the real child whose world changed as a result of adult decisions. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is home to a statue commemorating Sadako's life. It was built by the donations solicited by her classmates. Each day children from all over the world send folded paper cranes to this statue in her memory and in the hope for world peace. It is rare for a teacher to have the opportunity to compare and contrast a fictionalized event with the non fictional and rarer, still, to then have the opportunity to construct a real life project, from classroom reading, for students which will make the voices of the children heard. I am a teacher and the children in my school, the Henry Viscardi School, forwarded their cranes to the statue. This moving experience is recorded on our school Web site (under Japanese Odyssey)and was inspired by Reverand Ishii's book. The book had been published first in Japan. Random House has now made it available in the United States and as word of its publication reaches schools and libraries, it is destined to become a "must have" for every American classroom. ... Read more


6. Eyewitness: Ancient China (Eyewitness Books)
by Arthur Cotterell, Alan Hills, Geoff Brightling
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789458667
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Sales Rank: 63645
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Discover the history of imperial China -- from the building of the Great Wall to the days of the last emperor.

Here is a spectacular and informative guide to the history of the great Chinese empire and the customs and traditions of its people. Stunning real-life photographs and lifelike models offer a unique "eyewitness" view of life in imperial China, from its earliest beginnings in the Bronze Age to its final days in the early years of the 20th century. See the stunning bronzework of the ancient Chinese, an early irrigation machine, a set of antique acupuncture needles, the beautiful implements used for Chinese calligraphy. Learn why the First Emperor created the terra-cotta army, what kinds of goods were carried along the Silk Route, who invented paper, how a Chinese house was constructed, why tombs were filled with pottery figures, and what a civil servant's job entailed. Discover why emperors were known as Sons of Heaven, what kinds of weapons were used in early battles, why families worshiped their ancestors, how fishermen used bivas to catch fish, and much, much more. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
Ancient China was the best book dealing with China that I have so far read. It was intriguing how I learned, saw, and discovered many things in only about 65 pages. The beautiful photography gave the words life. This book proves excellence truly exists and gives the word perfection an even greater new meaning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos & lots of good info
DK eyewitness books are some of the greatest non-fiction books around. The distinctive white background and high-quality photography gives this book an edge over any other nonfiction picture book. And -- these pictures are real! They're beautiful museum-quality photos of all things related to Ancient China, accompanied by informative captions and text.

Learn about Ancient China, its rulers, and its people. SEE the objects common to everyday life in Ancient China. If you know someone (young or old) who is fascinated by Ancient China, then you must introduce them to this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book and all Eyewitness books for that matter, are excellent for the classroom, child care centre, and home. Filled with real photographs and valuable information, this book is highly recomended! ... Read more


7. Exploration into India (Exploration Into)
by Anita Ganeri
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0791060225
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Chelsea House Publications
Sales Rank: 411582
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars a great hands-on cultural geography book
This is a great book for teaching units on India to gradeschool age kids. The format is simple and interesting. It applies itself well to kids and offers hand-on projects to make the country more real to children. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. ... Read more


8. Life In Ancient Japan (Peoples of the Ancient World)
by Hazel Richardson
list price: $23.92
our price: $16.27
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Asin: 0778720411
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 154269
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9. Ancient India: What Life Was Like for the Ancient Indians (Find Out About Series)
by Daud Ali, Nick Allen
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
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Asin: 1842157787
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: Southwater Publishing
Sales Rank: 211960
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10. Indonesia (Ask About Asia)
by Judith Simpson
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 1590842022
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Mason Crest Publishers
Sales Rank: 2752183
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11. The Persian Empire (World History)
by Don Nardo
list price: $22.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560063203
Catlog: Book (1998-06-01)
Publisher: Lucent Books
Sales Rank: 1020556
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Informative
This is an extremely informative volume even though it is aimed at young people. The author presents an excellent synopsis of the subject and treats the Persians fairly, without the usual Western bias seen in so many other books about this ancient realm, pointing out both the strengths and weaknesses of its people and institutions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Historical Writing for Young People
Don nardo is perhaps the best historian of ancient cultures writing for students with no previous background in this area. Like his other books about the ancient world, this one is clear, concise, lively, and filled with interesting facts and anecdotes. Those who already know the basics will want to move on to more scholarly volumes. But this is a good starter course on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done
This book is extremely well done and loaded with information. It is not intended for scholars or serious students of ancient Persian culture. Instead, it is meant to be a general introduction to the topic for junior high and high school students, and as such it is highly effective.

2-0 out of 5 stars Take care
Please take care - this is a book aimed at schools and libraries and the information is often abbreviated to serve the needs of pupils writing assignments. It is not really a book suitable for the interested reader who is building up a personal library at home.

Having said that, I must admit the overall scope of the book is excellent. It presents a well-balanced view on ancient Persia and it shows understanding of ancient Persian culture. (Nardo does not fall into the trap of being misguided by the abundance of anti-Persian propaganda in our Greek sources.) Every now and then the book presents a nice quote or a nice detail which is complementary to other more elaborate books - but in general there is little that warrants your interest in the long run.

One warning should be given regarding the illustrations. Many of them are drawings - impressions of ancient Persia by modern artists. Whether they will provide you with a vivid or accurate picture of ancient Persia, is doubtful at least. Images of genuine Persian art (or photographs of remaining monuments) are few - which is a great pity.

If you already possess some works on ancient history or ancient Persia in specific, this book will be a dissapointment. If you really need only just one, short, reliable overview of ancient Persia, you might want to have a go at it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Book!
This has to be the best non-scholarly overview of ancient Persia available! It starts out with an excellent introduction in which the author points out how the Persians are usualy depicted as villains in movies and other western media, which tend to favor the ancient Greeks, who often fight with the Persians. The author then says that this is an unfair stereotype because the Persians had their own point of view and proud history. Then the book goes into that history, covering the major kings and their campaigns and how they created the largest empire the world had known up to that time. There is also a chapter on ancient Persian society and culture. This is one of several excellent books I've read by the author, Don Nardo, who makes this era of the ancient Greeks, Persians, and Romans come alive. People of Iranian descent will find it especially rewarding because there is so little out there about their roots in Englsih for general readers. ... Read more


12. China's Son : Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution
by DA CHEN
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
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Asin: 0385730500
Catlog: Book (2003-01-14)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 252036
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A candid memoir about growing up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, adapted by the author from his Colors of the Mountain, published by Random House.

Da Chen was born in China in 1962. The grandson of a landlord, he and his family were treated as outcasts in Communist China. In school, Da was an excellent student until a teacher told him that, because of his “family’s crimes,” he could never be more than a poor farmer. Feeling his fate was hopeless, Da responded by dropping out and hanging around with a gang. However, after Mao’s death, Da realized that an education and college might be possible, but he had to make up for the time he’d wasted. He began to study–all day and into the night. His entire family rallied to help him succeed, working long hours in the rice fields and going into debt to ensure that Da would have an education. When the final exam results were posted, he had one of the highest scores in the region and had earned a place at the prestigious Beijing University. Now his family’s past would not harm their future.


From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspirational, insightful autobiography
China's Sons is the intensely personal account of Da Chen, born in China in 1962, is reviewed here for its importance to many an adult reader as well. Chen and his family were outcasts in Communist China, and Da had to drop out of school as a result. When Mao died, Da faced a long struggle to regain his education and go to college ' and his entire family helped him succeed. China's Son is an inspirational, insightful autobiography.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting child account of the Cultural Revolution
As an adult interested in China and the Cultural Revolution and having traveled many times to China, I read this book not really expecting to glean much from it. It was well written though and appropriately rated. I found Da Chen a character I could relate with (even as an adult) and discovered his account to be full of emotion: frightened, bitter, angry, excited, happy etc.. I think most of the "facts" were presented in truth.

4-0 out of 5 stars China's Boy-Definately an engrossing read!
As a 12 year old student, I was assigned to read China's Son as a class project. As usual, I took one look at the cover and felt discouraged. But as I worked my way through the book, I actually began to understand the meaning of Da Chen's words.
Growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution was difficult for poverty stricken Da Chen. The book shows how he deals with his hardships, going from top student to the child no one likes, just because of his social standing. Da even joins a gang of hoodlums in his neighborood, and slowly becomes disinterested in the school he once loved. After dealing with family issues, Da realizes that he wants more in life then to become an uneducated farmer. Determined to succeed, he studies to enter one of China's best collages. Da Chen leaves readers on edge, hoping and praying that Da will make it into collage.
Although the book started off slowly for me, I would most definately reccomend it to any jr. through high schooler. Reading about Da Chen's determination is inspirational!

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
This book is beautifully written and opened up the real history of the cultural revolution to me. ... Read more


13. Little Green : Growing Up During the Chinese Cultural Revolution
by Chun Yu
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
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Asin: 0689869436
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Sales Rank: 399061
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14. Confucius: Golden Rule, The
by Russell Freedman, Frederic Clement
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439139570
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Sales Rank: 276881
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Born in China in 551 B.C., Confucius rose from poverty to the heights of his country's ruling class.But then he quit his high post for the life of an itinerant philosopher."The Analects" collects his teachings on education and government, the definition of nobility, the equality of man,and the right way and purpose of living - ideas that eventually spread to the West and influenced the great thinkers of the Enlightenment. And five centuries before Christ, Confucius set forth his own Golden Rule: "Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself." ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Confucius: The Golden Rule
Confucius was a minor government official who desperately wanted to change the government of China. But because of his radical ideas, he was never given the opportunity. He became a scholar who taught his pupils to think. Many years after his death, his ideas were written down and have survived for thousands of years. Tidbits of Confucius's wisdom have even made their way into American fortune cookies. Because little is known of the fifth century B.C. scholar, Freedman makes an effort to establish what information is believed to be fact and what is more likely legend.

The book's beautiful antiquated illustrations complement the text. They are as mysterious as the life of Confucius. I especially like the little details in this book: the quotes from the Analects on the endpapers, the author's note detailing his observations of the celebration in China held for Confucius each year, and the annotated bibliography.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Life and Times of Confucius.....
"More than 2,500 years have passed since Confucius walked the dusty country roads of China, chatting with his disciples, yet his voice still rings clear and true down through the centuries. Those who knew him never forgot him. Those who came after handed down his sayings from one generation to the next, right up to our own time..." So begins Russell Freedman's brilliant and engaging biography of Confucius, a minor government official who desperately wanted to be a political force in ancient China. "Though he offered many bold ideas for reform, his advice was ignored by the rulers of the day. For this reason, he spent much of his time teaching and discussing his ideas with his students." His simple, yet profound thoughts about government, education, and religion were shared with his followers through conversations and dialogues, and finally written down, many years after his death, in a book that has come to be known as the Analects. "This slim volume is the one source where we can most clearly hear the unique voice of the real, living Confucius." Mr Freedman's well researched story is written in an easy to read, conversational style and filled with history, mystery, intriguing biographical details, quotes from the Analect, and fascinating fun facts. Frederic Clement's elegant and evocative Chinese-style illustrations look ancient and authentic, and are rich in emotion, color, and detail. Together word and art bring the great philospher and his times to life on the page. With an enlightening Author's Note, and informative sources and suggestions for further reading included at the end, Confucius: The Golden Rule is an entertaining and inspiring introductory biography that is sure to whet the appetite of kids 10 and older, and send them out looking for more. "And so, after twenty-five centuries, the pros and cons of what Confucius said or didn't say are still being debated. The reason isn't hard to find. He trusted people to think for themselves. He was always ready to offer suggestions, but he insisted that each of us must find answers for ourselves. And he admitted that he himself did not know the truth, only a way to look for it..." ... Read more


15. Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Empire (Rulers and Their Times)
by Miriam Greenblatt
list price: $29.93
our price: $29.93
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Asin: 0761414894
Catlog: Book (2002-12-01)
Publisher: Benchmark Books (NY)
Sales Rank: 994934
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16. Empress of China Wu Ze Tian
by Cheng-An Chiang, De Yuan Xu Cheng An Chiang
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.95
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Asin: 1878217313
Catlog: Book (1998-11-15)
Publisher: Victory Press
Sales Rank: 626668
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Book Description

A beautiful young nun with skin as smooth as silk and a face as lovely as a spring flower silently cooked and cleaned all day at Gan Ye Buddhist Temple. Every evening she joined the other nuns in chanting sutras.

Who would believe that this delicate young nun was destined to become Emperor of China - the only female emperor in more than 5,000 years of Chinese history.

Wu Ze Tian held power for almost half a century during the Tang Dynasty (618- 907 AD), a period of prospertiy and cultural achievement in China. ... Read more


17. Land of Morning Calm: Korean Culture Then and Now
by John Stickler, Soma Han
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885008228
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: Shen's Books
Sales Rank: 33342
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What was life like in Ancient Korea?What did people eat?What did they believe in?How is it different now?

Take a journey to both ancient and modern Korea, where you will find a rich world of history and traditions that will capture your imagination and whet your appetite for learning more about this fascinating culture.

Read about the legend behind the founding of Korea, the meaning of the flag, and the creation of the Korean alphabet.Learn how to make kimchi, how to celebrate Korean holidays, and how people ironed their clothes before electricity.Every page explains an aspect of Korean culture and its changes through the years.

As North and South Korea quickly become important players in global politics, Land of Morning Calm gives us a better understanding of the people behind the news and the traditions we don’t get to see on television.It opens a window into another way of life, reminding us once again that we are all as similar as we are different. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cool Korean Culture
Colorful and more up-to-date looking than similar books. Brief introduction to major aspects of Korean culture. Covers such topics as clothing, language, religion, dance, music, and food. The book also includes a map of Korea and wonderful illustrations. Each page has the Korean word for the topic discussed written in hangul.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insights into Korea
If you are looking for an introduction to the roots of Korean culture, this is the book for you. The author and illustrator have teamed up to deliver succinct accounts of Korea that can be enjoyed by people with different needs. I immediately think of Korean parents who are looking for interesting ways to help their children learn about their heritage. Travelers to Korea will find helpful the quick, penetrating insights into the essence of Korean culture. Students may use the book to find topics for more detailed research.

The book presents readable descriptions of key aspects of Korean cultureâ€"thousands-year-old mythology, language, holidays, religion, food, arts, sportsâ€"19 in all. The accounts contain detailed examples, beautifully enhanced by the steady, experienced hand of the illustrator. The use of the beautiful Korean alphabet for selected words adds artistry to the pages. The author moves from fascinating accounts of the traditions to glimpses at the way Koreans are living their culture today. I intend to recommend the book to those already knowledgeable of Korea as well as those who just want a first look at this fascinating country.

5-0 out of 5 stars A lively, educational and highly recommended presentation
There are very few picturebooks on Korean culture for kids, which alone makes Land Of Morning Calm stand out for ages 7-12; but its other fine features include an organization by 19 topics ranging from holidays and arts to religions and home life, and beautiful visual displays of each by Soma Han. Land Of Morning Calm is a lively, educational and highly recommended presentation. ... Read more


18. Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun
by Rhoda Blumberg
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060086254
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 179675
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1853, few Japanese people
knew that a country
called America even existed.

For centuries, Japan had isolated itself from the outside world by refusing to trade with other countries and even refusing to help shipwrecked sailors, foreign or Japanese. The country's people still lived under a feudal system like that of Europe in the Middle Ages. But everything began to change when American Commodore Perry and his troops sailed to the Land of the Rising Sun, bringing with them new science and technology, and a new way of life.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, thorough!
We lived in Japan and I homeschooled when I first read this book. Much more interesting way to learn about the opening of Japan than through a text. Another excellent book that is a great companion to this one is "Born in the Year of Courage."

5-0 out of 5 stars Its a very good and stuning book...!!!!!
Its a very good book!!!It has alot of detail on the Japanes life in the very old days of the world.Its the best you can get!!!! ... Read more


19. The Rise of Modern China (20th-Century Perspectives)
by Tony Allan
list price: $8.50
our price: $7.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1588109216
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Heinemann Library
Sales Rank: 931080
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20. China's Long March: 6000 Miles of Danger
by Jean Fritz, Yang Zhr Cheng
list price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399215123
Catlog: Book (1988-03-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 815665
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars interesting historical reading
i found 'china's long march' a well-written and interesting book. the author creatively portrays the communist march and the majority of the facts are historically accurate. i read this in 9th grade to supplement my history curriculum, but i would suggest this book to kids ages 10-13.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ok book
This book is a little boring and it always seems like the author is on the Communists side. It is ecxiting and a book that 6th graders will enjoy probly the most. It has a good ending and a beging. I rate it 3 stars because its a little boring alot of parts but overall its a pretty good book ... Read more


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