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“Girls on the Line” NCTA Book Club

Attendees joined the EARC to explore relevant, complex issues that affect China today, such as repercussions of the One-Child Policy and its resulting gender imbalancehuman trafficking within China, urban-rural migrationfactory workers and their rights, and much more. A honorable mention in the Freeman Book AwardsGirls on the Line provides a compelling, dual narrative from the perspective of two young girls. The story throw readers into the gritty reality of what it means to be young, female, and orphaned in China seeking financial and social independence.

In this program participants read and discussed this YA novel with fellow teachers, explored the cultural and historic context of the novel,  learned how to use it in the classroom and found out how it connects with the curriculum. This book is best suited for teachers in grades 7-12, but teachers of all subjects and grades were welcome to attend this workshop.

Silvia De Cassan, EARC Assistant Director, and Matthew Sudnik, History Department Chair at The Madeira School, lead this program.

About the book Girls on the Line, by Jennie Liu

Published in 2018, but taking place in 2008’s China, Girls on the Line centers around the story of Yun and Luli, who grew up together in an orphanage in China and are now working in a factory in the city of Gujiao. Yun’s unplanned and unauthorized pregnancy throws both girls in a quest for safety and freedom, in which they find themselves navigating the complex reality of the one-child policy, urban migrants’ rights, and family planning in China. This book was cited as a Honorable Mention for Young Adult/High School Literature in the 2018 Freeman Book Awards.

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. Readers will learn much from this absorbing and realistic tale. ―Booklist Journal

This novel explores a moment of contemporary history and a culture that is underrepresented in YA realistic fiction. Recommended purchase, especially for YA collections serving older teens or new adults. ― School Library Journal

Program details

Date and time: January 28, 2021; 4:00 – 6:00 PM (Pacific Time)

This program was held online through Zoom.

Program benefits

  • A free copy of the book “Girls on the Line” by Jennie Liu
  • Historical and cultural notes on subjects the book addresses
  • Curriculum notes and recommendations for further readings and resources
  • WA OSPI Clock hours