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The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps Paperback – November 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
The role of Chinese laborers in building the transcontinental railroads fuels this novel set in 1867; PW praised it as "powerful" and "historically accurate." Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-A simply written story about the contributions of Chinese immigrants to the building of the transcontinental railroad. In 1867, Winnie Tucker and her mother arrive in Cisco, California, where hundreds of Chinese workers are massed to dig the Summit Tunnel through the Sierra Nevada mountains. The two look forward to spending the summer with Winnie's father, a mining engineer for the Central Pacific Railroad, who is helping to supervise the work. Winnie befriends Lee Cheng, and their brief meetings give her the Chinese viewpoint on a strike and an explosion that traps her father and his brother inside the tunnel. Though Winnie is an artist in the middle of spectacular scenery, the flat, sometimes choppy, prose conveys little sense of setting. Since the characters sound more like vehicles to impart information than living, breathing human beings, they are not particularly engaging, nor do the incidents of discrimination touch the heart. Judith Eichler Weber's Forbidden Friendship (Silver Moon, 1993), set in a Massachussets factory town in the 1870s, invests more emotion in the costs and ambiguities of an interracial friendship during a strike. Laurence Yep's Dragon's Gate (HarperCollins, 1993) offers older readers a compelling picture of the 1867 strike. Still, libraries with a strong need for easy reading on the Chinese immigrant experience may want to consider Krensky's book.
Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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