In order to save her family’s farm, Roshen, sixteen, must leave her rural home to work in a factory in the south of China. There she finds arduous and degrading conditions and contempt for her minority (Uyghur) background. Sustained by her bond with other Uyghur girls, Roshen is resolved to endure all to help her family and ultimately her people. A workplace survival story, this gritty, poignant account focuses on a courageous teen and illuminates the value—and cost—of freedom.
About the Author
Josanne LaValley traveled across the Taklamakan Desert to the Hotan region of China, where she spent time among the Uyghur. The recipient of an MFA in writing children's books from Vermont College, Ms. LaValley lives in New York City.
"...the stories of girls driven by desperation and lured by deceit are equally compelling. La Valley is at her best when focusing on the strenuous work, curtailed freedom, and group interrelationships." —Bulletin
"A harsh and provocative look at oppression, this novel brings to light the tense, yet infrequently discussed, relationship between the Uyghur people and the people of mainland China. La Valley’s time spent with the Uyghur, traveling across the Taklamakan Desert, adds an impressive layer of emotion and authenticity, reminding readers of the ultimate power of words to change one’s world." —Booklist
"Readers will admire Roshen’s resilience in the face of stark exploitation." —Publishers Weekly
"A thought-provoking look at oppression and the power of words from a viewpoint not often heard." —Kirkus