Reading this book reminded me of the freedoms that I enjoy every day are not available to everyone around the world.
The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley tells the compelling story of fourteen-year-old Mehrigul, a Uyghar (Turkic ethnic group) who lives in a remote region in northwest China.
Mehrigul cares for her younger sister and must do her older brother’s chores as well as her own since her brother had to leave after protesting against the Communist government. She fears being forced to work in a Chinese factory in a far-away city.
An opportunity comes to weave baskets for an American woman. Mehrigul faces many challenges to making the baskets and falls short of her goal. She feels all hope is gone and she will be sent away from her family.
Mehrigul is a well-developed character in the story who cares for her aging grandfather and her young sister with compassion. She wins the hearts of readers quickly. The story is suspenseful as Mehrigul must weave her baskets in three weeks while obstacle after obstacle prevents her from working.
Written for middle-grade readers, this novel is appropriate for anyone over the age of 10. Knowing what people under political oppression must face will enlighten all of us.
Buy the novel today while it is selling for only $1.99.