Since my first Clementine read - I have been a HUGE Sara Pennypacker fan! So when I saw she had a picture book coming out - I had it ordered months in advance for our library. When we got Sparrow Girl in, I read it right away. This is such a great book that I just had to share. The story is set in China and surrounds a true event that took place in 1958. Chairman Mao decided that everyone could help get rid of the Sparrows as they were eating too much of China's wheat crop. So - they did - they had everyone - children included - cover the land and make as much noise as possible so that the birds would die of exhaustion or heart attacks. The plan worked - the sparrow population was GONE in three days - BUT without the sparrows, the locust population grew and contributed to a famine that killed between 30-40 million Chinese people. This picture book is the story of a little girl, Ming-Li, that decides to try to help save some of the sparrows - it is wonderful - and she comes out the winner!! (See, that's another reason I LOVE this book - she was all about helping those birds - from one bird lover to another!) The illustrations are marvelous - Yoko Tanaka, the illustrator - really shines in this, her first, picture book.