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Girls on the Line
Cover of Girls on the Line
Girls on the Line
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"An affecting and original thrill ride." Kirkus Reviews

A powerful, dual-narrative coming-of-age story set in 2009 China.

Luli has just turned sixteen and finally aged out of the orphanage where she's spent the last eight years. Her friend Yun has promised to help her get work.

Yun loves the independence that her factory job brings her. For the first time in her life she has her own money and can get the things she wants: nice clothes, a cell phone...and Yong, her new boyfriend.

There are rumors about Yong, though. Some people say he's a bride trafficker: romancing young women only to kidnap them and sell them off to bachelors in the countryside. Yun doesn't believe it. But then she discovers she's pregnant—the same day she gets fired from her job. If she can't scrape together enough money to terminate the pregnancy, she'll face a huge fine for having an unauthorized child.

Luli wants to help her friend, but she's worried about what Yong might do...especially when Yun disappears.

"An affecting and original thrill ride." Kirkus Reviews

A powerful, dual-narrative coming-of-age story set in 2009 China.

Luli has just turned sixteen and finally aged out of the orphanage where she's spent the last eight years. Her friend Yun has promised to help her get work.

Yun loves the independence that her factory job brings her. For the first time in her life she has her own money and can get the things she wants: nice clothes, a cell phone...and Yong, her new boyfriend.

There are rumors about Yong, though. Some people say he's a bride trafficker: romancing young women only to kidnap them and sell them off to bachelors in the countryside. Yun doesn't believe it. But then she discovers she's pregnant—the same day she gets fired from her job. If she can't scrape together enough money to terminate the pregnancy, she'll face a huge fine for having an unauthorized child.

Luli wants to help her friend, but she's worried about what Yong might do...especially when Yun disappears.

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  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    790
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Jennie Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She has been fascinated by the attitudes, social policies, and changes in China each time she visits. She lives in North Carolina with her family.

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2018

    Gr 10 Up-The author explores China's One Child Policy and its complex repercussions in this compelling dual narrative. Luli and Yun grew up together in an orphanage and find themselves in the grind of factory work as they seek financial and social independence. Shy Luli observes as Yun pursues a relationship with Yong, who self-describes as a "bride collector." When Yun becomes pregnant and gets fired from the factory, her world closes in with the consequences of bearing a child out of wedlock in 2009 China. Yun is self-aware enough to know she cannot face her problem alone, but her survival-mode mentality leads her away from nurturing Luli. Yong's credibility crumbles, but Yun is so embedded in his world, she needs Luli and others to navigate each step of her journey. Liu shifts narration creatively along plot points and uses a matter-of-fact tone to immerse readers in the unfolding action. The characters are realistic products of their experiences-they are flawed, accessible, and multidimensional. This novel explores a moment of contemporary history and a culture that is underrepresented in YA realistic fiction. Fans of Audacity by Melanie Crowder or Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez will gobble this up. VERDICT Recommended purchase, especially for YA collections serving older teens or new adults.-Angela Wiley, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2018
    It is 2009 in the city of Gujiao, China: 16-year-old Luli and 17-year-old Yun, best friends, have aged out of their orphanage and are now enjoying the exhilarating independence of factory work.Their wages and dorm life offer an exciting taste of freedom, as does Yun's handsome new boyfriend, Yong. Yun's jealous ex-boyfriend says that Yong is illegally trafficking brides to the countryside, but Yun refuses to believe it. When she becomes pregnant, however, Yun, Luli, and Yong each have their own agendas, and their decisions and deceits result in a compelling, action-packed chain of events. During this time, China's One-Child Policy made unmarried and multiple pregnancies illegal for most: Mothers would be fined for unauthorized pregnancies, and without an official permit would not even be allowed into a hospital to give birth. Told in the first person from the two girls' alternating points of view, readers will be drawn into their emotional lives through sharing both their quiet, day-to-day routines and the moments of high drama, all of which are direct results of policies that trapped ordinary citizens and forced them into making terrible decisions.An affecting and original thrill ride highlighting the bond between two friends put in a horrible situation by actual Chinese government policies. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    October 15, 2018
    Grades 9-12 Sixteen-year-old Luli has just aged out of the Chinese orphanage where she's been living for eight years since her grandfather died. Her fellow orphan and friend Yun, who left the orphanage a year earlier, gets Luli a job at the electronics factory where she works. In alternating chapters, the girls relate the dramatic story of Yun's unplanned pregnancy, her human trafficker boyfriend's plans to sell their baby, and Luli's loyalty to Yun despite Yun's growing coldness. Liu's debut novel, based on her immigrant parents' past and her own trips to China, is set in 2009 and offers an insider's view of the very real plight of young women affected by China's one-child policy. The unusual setting and focus provide a much-needed look at the people who produce the goods we rely on worldwide and the hardships they face. Liu provides an authentic voice and portrayal of young Chinese women in difficult situations. Readers will learn much from this absorbing and realistic tale.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

  • ForeWord Magazine

    "Sixteen-year-old Luli has just aged out of the Chinese orphanage where she's been living for eight years since her grandfather died. Her fellow orphan and friend Yun, who left the orphanage a year earlier, gets Luli a job at the electronics factory where she works. In alternating chapters, the girls relate the dramatic story of Yun's unplanned pregnancy, her human trafficker boyfriend's plans to sell their baby, and Luli's loyalty to Yun despite Yun's growing coldness. Liu's debut novel, based on her immigrant parents' past and her own trips to China, is set in 2009 and offers an insider's view of the very real plight of young women affected by China's one-child policy. The unusual setting and focus provide a much-needed look at the people who produce the goods we rely on worldwide and the hardships they face. Liu provides an authentic voice and portrayal of young Chinese women in difficult situations. Readers will learn much from this absorbing and realistic tale."—Booklist

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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Girls on the Line
Girls on the Line
Jennie Liu
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