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Red Scarf Girl, A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution, by Ji-li Jiang; HarperCollins, 263 pages, $14.95 -- Chinese emigre Ji-li Jiang offers a searing, unforgettable memoir of her lost childhood during the Cultural Revolution in China in this excellent book, inspired by her reading of "The Diary of Anne Frank." She was 12 in 1966, an outstanding student and leader, when she suddenly went from role model to pariah because of her family's "dark" past -- her dead grandfather had been a landlord and her father was an actor falsely accused of listening to "foreign radio broadcasts." The family's apartment was ransacked, her father imprisoned, and former classmates -- including bullies of the schoolyard -- denounced her. And adults everywhere were pressuring her to denounce her parents. As with any historical atrocity, the injustice is somehow rendered even more vivid when seen with the directness, the clarity of a child's perspective. -- Jean Westmoore

Stonekiller, by J. Robert Janes; Soho, 261 pages, $12 -- A pair of unlikely policemen, from the French Surete and the Nazi Gestapo, work in successful tandem to solve a 1942 mutilation-murder of a woman expert in prehistoric art in Paris during the German Occupation. The author lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The Old Patagonia Express, by Paul Theroux; Mariner, $14 -- By rail through the Americas. Your guide: an internationally acclaimed world traveler. A classic, to be treasured. -- Ed Kelly