- Age Range: 7 - 10 years
- Grade Level: 2 - 5
- Lexile Measure: AD660L (What's this?)
- Series: Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)
- Hardcover: 48 pages
- Publisher: Philomel Books (February 19, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399232273
- ISBN-13: 978-0399232275
- Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 0.5 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Coolies (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)) Hardcover – February 19, 2001
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
In an impressive debut, Yin illuminates a dark corner of American historyAthe monumental labor of the thousands of Chinese immigrants who helped build the transcontinental railroad. "Look, Little Wong, this is the land of opportunity!" cries Shek to his brother when their difficult sea voyage ends in San Francisco. Soon, however, the boys discover a harsher reality as they face discrimination and derision, particularly from the tyrannical railroad bosses who call them "coolies." The brothers toil under exhausting and often dangerous conditions (because they are small, they are made to set the dynamite for tunnels through the Sierras), and join their fellow laborers in a strike when they learn that non-Chinese workers are being paid more. The strike fails, work continues and, in a final insult, everyone but the Chinese are invited to the celebration of the meeting of the Eastern and Western rail lines in Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869. "Call us what you will, it is our hands that helped build the railroad," says Shek, with the even tones and spare dignity that characterize Yin's exposition. Soentpiet (Where Is Grandpa?) floods his crowded compositions with exaggerated sunlight, candlelight, firelight, etc., throwing his palette into theatrical, overdone shades; this approach, unfortunately, works against Yin's restraint and balance. The tale ends on an upbeat note as the brothers establish a bright future in San Francisco; a framing device that links the story to the present day shores up its relevance for contemporary readers. Ages 5-up. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-When the western line of the transcontinental railroad joined the eastern line at Promontory Point, UT, in 1869, the engraving commemorating the event left out an important group of workers-the Chinese. Derisively called "coolies" by their white overseers, these refugees from Southern China came to California desperate for any work that would help them feed their starving families back home. This picture book, cast as a story told by a modern Chinese grandmother, transforms the familiar ethnic slur into a badge of honor. Large double spreads, reminiscent of epic murals, portray the perilous adventures of two brothers, Shek and Wong. After bidding their mother good-bye on the dock, they endure cramped quarters in a stormy passage across the Pacific to arrive at "The Land of Opportunity." Soentpiet's art, consistently amplifying the text, provides an ironic counterpoint, showing dazed Chinese disembarking while hostile white men stare. Subsequent scenes, painted in vivid yellows, oranges, and deep blues, dramatize the achievements of these slight, tough workers who ply sledgehammers under a blazing sun, set dynamite charges, and brave freezing temperatures and avalanches to lay track over high mountain peaks. The callousness of the railroad bosses, who pay the Chinese less than their white counterparts and starve them out of a strike, is contrasted with the devotion of the two brothers, tenderly depicted in art and text. An informative author's note is appended. Soentpiet's impassioned paintings add new emotional resonance to the heroic saga of despised immigrants whose heroism matched the towering mountains of the west.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.