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Children's Nonfiction Asia

Red Land, Yellow River

A Story from the Cultural Revolution

illustrated by Ange Zhang

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2004
Asia, Historical, Asia
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2004
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0
  • Grade: p to 12


The amazing, dramatic, and painful autobiographical story of Ange Zhang as he came of age during the Cultural Revolution in China.

When Mao’s Cultural Revolution took hold in China in June 1966, Ange Zhang was thirteen years old. His father was a famous writer. Shortly after the revolution began, many of Ange’s classmates joined the Red Guard, Mao’s youth movement, and they drove their teachers out of the classrooms.

But in the weeks that followed, Ange discovered that his father’s fame as a writer now meant that he was a target of the new regime. When his father was arrested, he began to question everything that was happening in his country. Finally, Ange was forced to join many other young urban Chinese students in the countryside for re-education where he found the emotional space to develop his own artistic talent and to find that he, like his father, was an artist — except that Ange’s talent lay in painting and drawing.

This dramatic, painful autobiographical story is complemented by photographs, many drawn from Ange’s personal collection, as well as a non-fiction section that explains the historical period and is also illustrated with archival images.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.


About the author

ANGE ZHANG has illustrated many books for Groundwood, most notably his memoir of growing up during the Cultural Revolution, Red Land, Yellow River, which won the Bologna Ragazzi Award. A former designer for the National Opera Theater in Beijing, he now works as an animation artist. He lives in Toronto.


Ange Zhang's profile page


  • Nominated, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Long-listed, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Commended, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award
  • Winner, Bologna Ragazzi Award
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection)
  • Short-listed, Norma Fleck Non-fiction Award
  • Long-listed, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
  • Winner, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Commended, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) YA Top Forty (or so) List
  • Short-listed, CLA Book of the Year for Children Award
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards: Text
  • Short-listed, Governor General‚Äôs Literary Award

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