Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

book cover image from

Compestine, Ying Chang. Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. 249 p. Holt. 2007. ISBN 978-0-8050-8207-4. 

Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine, is based on the author’s childhood growing up in China.  It’s hard to imagine having a childhood like she did.

Eight-year-old Ling, the feisty daughter of two doctors, lives in Wuhan, China. But the lives of Ling and her family are changed forever when Comrade Li, an officer of the Communist Party, moves into their apartment.  Friends and neighbors begin to disappear because they are considered as enemies of the state.

Life continues to spiral downward as Ling’s Father is ordered by Comrade Li to stop practicing medicine and start mopping floors and scrubbing bathrooms in the hospital.  What makes all of this more difficult is that Ling’s father turned down a great opportunity to emigrate to America and practice medicine with his former teacher from San Francisco because he wanted to do what he could to help the “new” China.

Ling’s father is then arrested and she endures vicious tormenting at school because of her bourgeois (middle class) background.  She sometimes wishes her my family was poor and that her  parents worked on a vegetable farm so she could have friends. But if her parents worked on a farm, who would treat their patients? Although her happy begins to disappear, Ling is determined to keep her long hair, a symbol of dignity and individualism to her, though her classmates see it as a symbol of Ling’s privilege.

What will happen to Ling and her family?

Read Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine to find out.

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Themes:  Communism, family, persecution, Cultural Revolution,

Reading level:  5.2

Interest level:  5th-8th grade

Similar stories: any survival story

Link to Harvest Park Library catalog:  this book is not at the Harvest Park Library.  If you would like to buy it for the library, please follow this link:  Harvest Park Library Amazon Associates link.

Author website:  Ying Chang Compestine

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1 Response to Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

  1. Pingback: California Young Reader Medal book club & blog links | Jamie the Librarian

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