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The Traitor: Golden Mountain Chronicles: 1885 Paperback – October 26, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Golden Mountain Chronicles
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060008318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060008314
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,819,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-This novel, based on a true event, tells the story of two young teens who live in Rock Springs, WY, in 1885 when animosity between American and Chinese miners reaches its peak. Born in the U.S. of Chinese parents, Joseph Young considers himself an American, but both communities see him as only Chinese. Michael Purdy is an "outsider" because of his illegitimate birth. The boys meet when Michael escapes hounding by bullies and hides in a cave outside of town where Joseph is fossil hunting. In chapters that alternate between the two well-developed characters, the book describes their growing friendship despite the escalating trouble between the Chinese and the "Westerners" who blame the newcomers for their economic hardships and march on Chinatown in a rampage. Though the narrative leading up to the massacre and its aftermath is perhaps a bit too long, Yep does a good job portraying the rampant prejudice, and he does not sugarcoat the horrifying violence, told from Michael's point of view. In stark contrast to the inhumanity he sees in the streets, his mother acts humanely in spite of her negative view of the Chinese. This series entry adds another chapter to the tale of the Young family, who came to America from Kwangtung, China, and sheds needed light on a shameful, but forgotten, event in American history.
Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Dual voices in alternating chapters narrate the conflict between Chinese and Western coal miners in the Wyoming Territory in 1885. Joseph Young, American by birth but Chinese in heritage, lives with his ostracized father in a mining camp; Michael Purdy, who lives in the nearby town with his unmarried mother, is an outsider because he is a bastard. The boys accidentally meet in a cave filled with fossils and become friends. When the railroad sets out to replace the Western miners with Chinese workers, hatred and resentment explodes in a massacre of the Chinese. The overlong novel has an obvious message, but the short chapters read quickly, and readers will become involved through the first-person voices that capture each boy's feelings of being an outsider and a traitor. An afterword documents the history and a concluding chapter outlines the Golden Mountain Chronicles, noting that the ninth and final is yet to come. This story of prejudice can stand alone, but it will certainly lead readers back to other titles in the series, which reflect Chinese experiences in China and America from 1849-1995. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Laurence Yep has been fascinated with tales of sibling rivalry from the day he was born. His older brother, Tom, chose his name Laurence - after a saint who died a particularly gruesome death. Laurence has been trying to get even ever since. Laurence Yep now lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife and is one of children's literature's most respected authors. His award-winning titles include Newbery Honor Books Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on August 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rebeccasreads highly recommends THE TRAITOR: Golden Mountain Chronicles 1885 Wyoming Territory, as not only a grand boys' adventure, it's a roller-coaster historical ride into the dark side of fighting for survival & transcending racial hatred, as well soaring into the bright side of friendship, purpose & hope.

As with all Laurence Yep's chronicles of the Chinese American experience, THE TRAITOR is a riveting read! Could not put it down! Quite serious, all the more so because the events described actually happened. It makes you think "What would I have done?"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tsai Sung Fu on January 29, 2004
Format: Library Binding
As a graduate student working on Yep's novels, I found The Traitor the most interesting and fascinating to read among the rest of his Golden Mountain Chronicles. Not only is The Traitor full of complexity and ingenuity, but also gives us the detailed history of the Chinese immigrants in the 1880s, including the severest Chinese massacre incident and the Exclusion Act. The story starts with a boy named Joseph, son of Otter in Dragon's Gate, who shares his living experiences with a local American boy Michael. As the "traitors" from both their ethnic groups, Joseph and Michael have to use their wisdom in order to survive in the Rock Springs Massacre.
For those who would like to know more about the Chinese immigrant history, I strongly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, The Traitor, is a fantastic book. I read it in two days and could not put it down. It's, in a nutshell, about a Chinese-American boy named Joseph Young who wants to be fully American.Joe's a miner who misses San Francisco, where he used to live before the immigration laws threw him and his father out. In the adjoining town of Rock Springs is a boy named Michael Purdy. Mike is shunned due to his not having a father. Michael and Joseph find sanctuary in Star Rock, their weekly meeting place. Meanwhile, Mike's town is a Chinese hating society, so they band together one day to kill all the Chinese out of spite. The book is based on actual events, and if you're like me, anything with to do with Chinese culture or historical fiction draws you in. Hope you like it!
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