Josanne La Valley

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April 2013, Clarion/HMH, 256 pp

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.


SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “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.”


  • Asian-Pacific American Awards for Literature, Children’s Literature Honor – American Library Association
  • Global Society Book Awards, Notable Book – International Reading Association
  • Amelia Bloomer Project – American Library Association, Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Feminist Task Force


KoreanThe Book in My Life
TurkishBeyaz Balina Publishing