Pacific Edge Publishing
144 pp, softcover, historical notes, photographs
Level: Grades 4-7
During the time in Canada’s history when railroads were being built to link the east and west, men came from China to work in order to support their families back home. This is the story of a young Chinese girl who traveled to Canada to find her brother and bring him back to China because their father had died. It is a story of the physical hardship and racism that the Chinese endured in Canada but it is also a story of the unlikely friendship between a young Chinese girl and a railway worker who befriended and protected her. And it is the story of the building of the railway and the incredible event in which the S.S. Skuzzy was pulled through Hell’s Gate by Chinese workers hanging on to the cliffs of the Fraser Canyon and pulling on ropes attached to the ship.
This first novel by Mary-Liz Bright will find a place in Canadian classrooms because it not only tells an exciting story, it teaches a lesson in Canadian history. Children will be caught up in the suspense of the personal story of Mui and her brother, and will learn about the culture of the Chinese workers and the building of Canadian railways.
Teacher’s Guide available linking the book to the grade 5 Social Studies curriculum.