Sparrow Girl

Sparrow Girl

4.07 (431 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ming-Li looked up and tried to imagine the sky silent, empty of birds. It was a terrible thought. Her country's leader had called sparrows the enemy of the farmers--they were eating too much grain, he said. He announced a great "Sparrow War" to banish them from China, but Ming-Li did not want to chase the birds away.
As the people of her village gathered with firecrackers and gongs to scatter the sparrows, Ming-Li held her ears and watched in dismay. The birds were falling from the trees, frightened to death! Ming-Li knew she had to do something--even if she couldn't stop the noise. Quietly, she vowed to save as many sparrows as she could, one by one...
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Product details

  • 0-5
  • Paperback | 26 pages
  • 233.68 x 243.84 x 12.7mm | 340.19g
  • Hyperion Books
  • New York, NY, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Frontispiece; Illustrations, color
  • 1423111877
  • 9781423111870
  • 135,966

Review quote

The so-called Sparrow War, declared by Mao in 1958, furnishes the basis for this grim story. Deciding that sparrows are eating too much grain, "our Leader" orders his people to drive them away, and Ming-Li's whole village turns out to "[make] so much noise the ground itself rumble[s]." Ming-Li objects, pointing out that other birds will leave along with the sparrows, but she is silenced; on her own, she creates a bird refuge in an abandoned barn and becomes a heroine the following year, when the birds are needed to control worms, grasshoppers and other pests. Fans hoping for the insouciance of Pennypacker's Clementine will look in vain; Ming-Li's determination rises up against the frightening images of marauding villagers and of dead birds raining from the sky. Debut artist Tanaka contributes skillful but unsettling pictures-her overcast palette, skewed perspectives and stylized faces create the atmosphere of a bad dream. PW"
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About Sara Pennypacker

Sara Pennypacker is the author of the acclaimed Clementine series, illustrated by Marla Frazee; Stuart's Cape and Stuart Goes to School, both illustrated by Martin Matje; and Dumbstruck. Sara lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Yoko Tanaka made her children's book debut with Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers. Before graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Yoko won a Gold Award from the Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in several magazines, and in galleries across the globe. Sparrow Girl is her first picture book.
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Rating details

431 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 37% (158)
4 40% (173)
3 18% (78)
2 4% (17)
1 1% (5)
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