Drawing on the real background of the Chinese role in the gold rush, the building of the railway and the settling of the west coast in the nineteenth century, noted historian and children’s author Paul Yee has created eight original stories that combine the rough-and-tumble adventure of frontier life with the rich folk traditions that these immigrants brought from China.
These tales are funny, sad, romantic and earthy, but ultimately, as a collection, they reflect the gritty optimism of the Chinese who overcame prejudice and adversity to build a unique place for themselves in North America.
It is 1915, and Sam Ferrier and his father arrive by train in Curlew, Alberta, to build a new home for the family. When they finally reach their parcel of land, Sam can see nothing but endless stretches of grassland and blue sky. It is nothing like their old home in Iowa, and he wonders why his restless father ever decided to bring the family to this lonely, barren land.
In time, though, the house is built, and the rest of the family joins them. Gradually Sam discovers that there is much more to the flat and featureless prairie than he realized -- gleaming white skulls, torrential thunderstorms and, best of all, a new friend and a brave, resourceful horse named Prince.
Thrown back in time sixty years, they find themselves unwittingly involved in the imminent disappearance of a family heirloom with a colourful and uncertain past. But families too have their secrets, and the reasons behind them are rarely straightforward, and it is unclear what role Charlotte and Henry are meant to play if they are ever to return to their own time.
A fascinating portrait of Toronto in the spring of 1939, The Tree of Life explores the nature of family, loss, and what it means to find one’s place in the world.
With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of Canadian history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a Cape Breton mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.
globe and back again in this celebration of freedom and dreams come true!