Monday, October 12, 2015

The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley

Mehrigul is a 14-year-old girl who belongs to a group of people living in East Turkestan. Her language and people are called Uyghur, but the Chinese have invaded their land and control everything. Mehrigul longs to stay in school, but her father wants her to work on their farm, and her mother is depressed and unable to speak up for her. So she works the land and lives in fear that her father will send her to work in a Chinese factory far away. On market day, things change for Mehrigul. She encounters an American woman who pays her a huge amount of money for a decorative basket made of vines that Mehrigul has made. The woman says she will return in three weeks to buy more of the baskets. Mehrigul begins to dream of being an artisan and helping her family with the money, but her father, who gambles and drinks, has other plans for her.

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