Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

Sparrow Girl

Companion Resource

Sparrow Girl Sparrow Girl

Ming-Li looked up and tried to imagine the sky silent, empty of birds. It was a terrible thought. Her country's leader had called sparrows the enemy of the farmers—they were eating too much grain, he said. He announced a great "Sparrow War" to banish them from China, but Ming-Li did not want to chase the birds away. As the people of her village gathered with firecrackers and gongs to scatter the sparrows, Ming-Li held her ears and watched in dismay. The birds were falling from the trees, frightened to death! Ming-Li knew she had to do something—even if she couldn't stop the noise. Quietly, she vowed to save as many sparrows as she could, one by one... Based on a true story about the 1958 Sparrow War in China that caused the locust population to grow to plague proportions and contributed to widespread famine.


Sara Pennypacker

Lessons Associated with this Resource