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Gold Mountain



by
Betty Yee

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Lerner
Imprint
Carolrhoda
ISBN
9781728415826
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse
$23.57   $19.64
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JLG Category

History High

A Chinese-American author's suspenseful, immersive depiction of a pivotal point in US history.

Working on the Transcontinental Railroad promises a fortune—for those who survive.

Growing up in 1860s China, Tam Ling Fan has lived a life of comfort. Her father is wealthy enough to provide for his family but unconventional enough to spare Ling Fan from the debilitating foot-binding required of most well-off girls. But Ling Fan’s life is upended when her brother dies of influenza and their father is imprisoned under false accusations. Hoping to earn the money that will secure her father’s release, Ling Fan disguises herself as a boy and takes her brother’s contract to work for the Central Pacific Railroad Company in America.

Life on “the Gold Mountain” is grueling and dangerous. To build the railroad that will connect the west coast to the east, Ling Fan and other Chinese laborers lay track and blast tunnels through the treacherous peaks of the Sierra Nevada, facing cave-ins, avalanches, and blizzards—along with hostility from white Americans.

When someone threatens to expose Ling Fan’s secret, she must take an even greater risk to save what’s left of her family . . . and to escape the Gold Mountain alive.

Author’s note. Discussion questions.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

288

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

870L

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Aug 2022

Book Genres

Historical Fiction

Topics

Central Pacific Railroad Company. Foreign workers. Chinese people in the United States. Disguise. Railroads. Sabotage. Sierra Nevada (California and Nevada). Nineteenth-century US history. Emigration and immigration. Prejudice and racism. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-After the death of her twin brother, Tam Ling Fan assumes his identity to travel from 1860s Qing dynasty China to the Western United States and take his job building the transcontinental railroad. She needs to earn enough money for the bribes needed to free her wrongfully imprisoned father. In America, she must deal with dangerous work, low pay, racism, and keeping her female identity a secret. When the number of work accidents becomes suspiciously high, it is obvious that someone is sabotaging their efforts and Ling Fan finds herself caught in the middle of an impossible situation. In learning of the other workers' reasons for working the railroad and why some are choosing sabotage, Ling Fan examines her own reasoning behind her actions. The tangled motivations of Yee's characters add much to the story, such as discussing how the railroad affected the Indigenous people already living on the land, or workers returning to China when the railroad was completed. VERDICT A thought-provoking adventure that adds more nuance and complexity to the history of the building of the transcontinental railroad.-Jennifer Rothschild

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-After the death of her twin brother, Tam Ling Fan assumes his identity to travel from 1860s Qing dynasty China to the Western United States and take his job building the transcontinental railroad. She needs to earn enough money for the bribes needed to free her wrongfully imprisoned father. In America, she must deal with dangerous work, low pay, racism, and keeping her female identity a secret. When the number of work accidents becomes suspiciously high, it is obvious that someone is sabotaging their efforts and Ling Fan finds herself caught in the middle of an impossible situation. In learning of the other workers' reasons for working the railroad and why some are choosing sabotage, Ling Fan examines her own reasoning behind her actions. The tangled motivations of Yee's characters add much to the story, such as discussing how the railroad affected the Indigenous people already living on the land, or workers returning to China when the railroad was completed. VERDICT A thought-provoking adventure that adds more nuance and complexity to the history of the building of the transcontinental railroad.-Jennifer Rothschild

Grades 10 & Up
History High
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The past opens with a turn of the page in these fully-documented histories and compelling works of historical fiction. Experience the past frequently with the 12 books in this category.

12 books per Year
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Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,Nonfiction,Biographies,Realistic Fiction,History
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