The Vine Basket
April 02, 2013
Things aren’t looking good for fourteen-year-old Mehrigul. She yearns to be in school, but she’s needed on the family farm. The longer she’s out of school, the more likely it is that she’ll be sent off to a Chinese factory . . . perhaps never to return. Her only hope is an American woman who buys one of her decorative vine baskets for a staggering sum and says she will return in three weeks for more. Mehrigul must brave terrible storms, torn-up hands from working the fields, and her father’s scorn to get the baskets done. The stakes are high, and time is passing. A powerful intergenerational story of a strong, creative young artist in a cruelly oppressive society.
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Students in the US are woefully ignorant of the challenges faced by their peers in other countries, and any book that clearly shows these is one they should read. It's hard for us to understand how devalued women in other cultures can be, but Mehrigul's thwarted efforts bring this home. The additional information at the back of the book about the Uyghur group is especially helpful. Definitely ordering.
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