Cover image for Girls on the line / Jennie Liu.
Girls on the line / Jennie Liu.
Publication Information:

Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Lab, [2018]
Physical Description:
226 pages ; 22 cm
Told in two voices, Luli and Yun, raised in an orphanage to age sixteen, work together in a factory until Yun, pregnant, disappears and Luli must confront the dangers of the outside world to find her. Includes facts about China's One-Child Policy and its effects.
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LIU Book Teen Collection

On Order



"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.

Reviews 1

Horn Book Review

In 2009 Gujiao, China, teens Luli and Yun are girls on the line. They labor long, mind-numbing hours at an electronics factory while living with up to eight other people in a dormitory room. Though the young women were raised like sisters in the same grim orphanage, they couldnt be more different. Outgoing Yun loves the relative freedom that the job providesmaking her own money and going out to clubswhile shy Luli would rather save her money and sleep after her shift is over. When Yun discovers she is pregnant (with an unauthorized child) by her shady boyfriend Yong, who is a suspected bride trafficker, Luli is forced to set her timidity aside in order to stand up for her friend. As the girls navigate their severely limited options while trying to avoid being fired, fined, or kidnapped, readers are given a perceptive, sobering glimpse into Chinas oppressive economic bureaucracy. Lius candid prose and matter-of-fact tone, related in alternating first-person chapters, heighten the horror of the harrowing conditions many Chinese girls and women are subjected to on a daily basis. Liu elucidates in a closing authors note why these situations are largely a result of Chinas One-Child Policy. Pass this to readers of Patricia McCormicks Sold (rev. 9/06) and Peggy Kerns Little Peach. jennifer hubert swan January/February 2019 p 97(c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.