The Vine Basket
The Vine Basket tells of a Uyghur girl's struggle in a land dominated by the Chinese communist regime.
When fourteen-year-old Mehrigul's brother leaves home she must give up school to help on the family farm. That makes her a prime candidate to be sent to work in a Chinese factory. She alone knows the truth of her brother's departure – and that he will not return. Whether she is sent thousands of miles away or tied to farm work, her future looks bleak.
How Mehrigul takes a hand in shaping her destiny is at the heart of a story that celebrates creativity, determination, and dreams.
"The vivid and authentic sense of place, custom, and politics serves as an effective vehicle for the skillfully characterized, emotionally charged story…. An absorbing read and an excellent choice for expanding global understanding."
— Starred Review, School Library Journal
"In her debut novel, La Valley paints a memorable picture of this faraway people…. A haunting tale of artistic vision triumphing over adversity."
— Kirkus Reviews
"This book could almost be read as a handbook for young Uyghurs dealing with the pressures of modern society in East Turkestan."
— Mamatjan Juma, Uyghur Service Editor, Radio Free Asia
"The Vine Basket is Mehrigul's story first. The tight focus on her character engages the reader so that learning about Uyghur village life happens as a consequence, all the more memorable for being rendered as story rather than lesson."
— Linda Sue Park. New York Times Book Review
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