Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pryor, Bonnie The Iron Dragon:

Pryor, Bonnie The Iron Dragon: The Courageous Story of Lee Chin
Enslow 2010 160p 27.93
978-0766033894 elem E-BNe Historical Fiction Adventures(Enslow)

A young Chinese immigrant comes to work on the railroad. He learns to stand up for himself, defy his father, and pursue his desires to learn English and become an artist.
Set during construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
After several years of famine in China, Le Chin accompanies his father to America to help build the Transcontinental Railroad. As a younger son, Le Chin constantly disappoints his father who wants him to save money and return to China to be a farmer. Le Chin wants to be an artist and sees the advantages in learning as much as possible about America and Americans. He makes friends in the railroad camp, saves the son of a financier of the project, and saves his money to buy back his sister who was sold to pay for the boat passage. Through the Americans he befriends, his sister is rescued and joins him in America. They witness the laying of the Golden Spike.
Through the story we learn about life in the railroad camps, construction methods of the time, Chinese customs, and early photography. The story is followed by historical information which formed the background to the story. A fairly large list of additional books for more information on the topic is included, as well as some web sites.
Excellent both as historical fiction and for the background information on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Historical Theal, Joan

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