“Red Scarf Girl”, happens during the Cultural Revolution, where China's Communist leader Mao called on the nation’s youth to purge the “impure elements” (four olds). Ji- Li is the main character. Her name means lucky and beautiful. She is very smart and used to be the "da-dui-zhang” (the head of the student council). Despite her academic achievements, she is held back by her poor class status, and needs to face this barrier to move on.
Ji-Li was born in Shanghai, China in 1954. For over twenty years Ji-Li would not discuss her experiences from childhood which included surviving the cultural revolution in China, until her thoughts were captured in her autobiography. After the publication in 1997, Ji-Li has been invited to share her experiences in many different places including schools, and a huge number of different conferences.