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Little Leap Forward

Written by Guo Yue, Clare Farrow

Illustrated by Helen Cann

Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

LoveReading View on Little Leap Forward

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

A fascinating snapshot of how totally life changed in Beijing for a little boy, Little Leap Forward, his family and his friends when Chairman Mao came to power. The son of a musician, Little Leap Forward’s life revolves around his love of music, especially the old Chinese music his father used to love. But when the Red Guards spread throughout Beijing, enjoying the old pleasures becomes dangerous. Beautifully illustrated and produced in an attractive hardback.


Little Leap Forward Synopsis

It's the summer of 1966, and the streets of Beijing are bristling with rumours about revolution.  For eight-year-old Little Leap Forward and his friends, life seems unchanged - they fly kites, run errands, play games.  One day, Little Leap Forward captures a songbird - but he cannot persuade her to sing.  Will he break with tradition and give her back her freedom?  Little Leap Forward is a semi-autobiographical account that is based on the author's experiences of the Cultural revolution. He was born in 1958, the year of Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward.  It offers an explanation of what the Cultural Revolution meant to him, his family and the Chinese people.

The author reads from the book and talks about his experiences of life during China's Cultural Revolution in this video.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781846865381
Publication date: 01/10/2011
Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781846861130
Publication date: 01/07/2008
Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781846865381
Publication date: 1st October 2011
Author: Guo Yue, Clare Farrow
Illustrator: Helen Cann
Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 120 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers

About Guo Yue, Clare Farrow

Guo Yue, whose first name means ‘Leap Forward’, grew up in the old alleys and courtyards of Beijing before and during the Cultural Revolution. Surrounded by musicians (his father’s colleagues) and the sounds and smells of Chinese cooking, Yue lived the life of a Beijing street-child, playing in the alleys and by the river with his friends. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution his school was closed and his mother, a teacher, bought him a little bamboo flute, paying for his lessons with small measures of cooking oil. Soon labelled as a ‘counter-revolutionary’ ...

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Cover for Little Leap Forward by Guo Yue, Clare Farrow
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