The world is changing for two girls in China in the 1970s. Da Qin -- Big Piano -- and her younger sister, Xiao Qin -- Little Piano -- live in the city of Wuhan with their parents. For decades, China's government had kept the country separated from the rest of the world. When their country's leader, Chairman Mao, dies, new opportunities begin to emerge. Da Qin and Xiao Qin soon learn that their childhood will be much different than the upbringing their parents experienced.
This graphic novel features eight short stories -- based on the author's own life -- that give readers a unique look at what it was like to grow up in China during this important time in history.
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"Aimed toward kids, Liu’s story captures life in China in the experience of one child, showing how even the broadest governmental policies and cultural standards affect an individual’s smallest moments. These darker corners give Liu’s reminiscence its power: strict Chinese one-child laws, the graphic misfortune of animals in China, the poverty and surliness of Liu’s rural relatives. Yet while the landscape is different, the children’s escapades are the same as those of kids today." -- Publishers Weekly