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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $3.80 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 17 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Paper Son: Lee's Journey ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Paper Son: Lee's Journey to America (Tales of Young Americans) Hardcover – May 1, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$13.19
$9.99 $8.17

Children's Books
Children's Books
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
$13.19 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 17 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Paper Son: Lee's Journey to America (Tales of Young Americans)
  • +
  • The Kite that Bridged Two Nations: Homan Walsh and the First Niagara Suspension Bridge
  • +
  • Each Kindness (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards))
Total price: $42.73
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Twelve-year-old Lee does not want to leave China. Yet the responsibility for supporting his grandparents weighs heavily on his heart. He is to be a “paper son,” and he studies a coaching book that details the life he supposedly lives with his American father so he can dupe immigration officials in California. After tense good-byes, Lee is off across the Pacific in 1926, only to be detained on Angel Island (“the Ellis Island of the West”) with other Asian immigrants. They are treated like prisoners and fear deportation, but Lee knows that he must prove that he belongs with the family listed on his documents and is more than just their son on paper. In this poignant tale of home and heartbreak, which recalls Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey (1993), readers learn about the emotional toll that is part of so many immigration experiences. Ong’s light-infused paintings match the narrative’s subdued tone, and Lee’s dignity is evident in his upright posture as he bravely faces a new life in a foreign place. It’s not a story often told for this age, and readers will be drawn to Lee’s quiet determination as he grapples with the complexity of knowing that “I didn’t want to come, but now I need to stay.” Grades 3-6. --Amina Chaudhri

Review

Kirkus Reviews
"The journey from China to the United States and the experience on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay are fraught with anxiety and peril for 12-year-old Wang Lee. In order to gain admittance, he takes the "paper son" name Fu Lee, taking the place of someone whose records had burnt in the 1906 earthquake and fire. If he does not pass the examination on Angel Island (the Ellis Island of the West), he will be returned to China. Like many hopeful emigrants, he has carefully memorized each small detail in a "coaching book": the number of windows in "his" house, its location vis-à-vis neighbors and other minutiae of another family's home in China. The entire experience is expensive and traumatic, and waiting in the barracks on Angel Island is tiresome, strange and frightening, all at once. To lose family, name and everything else that one knows takes a brave person, desperate for the opportunity that Gum Saam can provide. Fu Lee meets these demands in a book that clearly shows the boy and his fears and hopes. Ong's paintings of place and persons make the journey, setting and experience come alive. Backmatter on Angel Island provides historical context. An effective and empathetic depiction of the Angel Island experience. (Picture book. 8-12)"
School Library Journal
"Gr 1-4--Lee, 12, lives with his grandparents. His parents have died, but it was their wish that he go to America for better opportunities. In 1926, conditions are difficult in China, and the boy's loving grandparents sadly agree that leaving would be the best thing for him. Immigration laws restrict Chinese people from entering the United States, so Lee's family purchased a "paper son" slot for him. A Chinese man already living in America will say that Lee is his son to get him into the country. As Wang Lee becomes Fu Lee, he must learn minute details about his new family in order to pass the interrogations at the Angel Island Immigration Station. While often called the "Ellis Island" of the west, Angel Island was often about stopping immigrants rather than welcoming them. People could spend weeks, months, or even years there, waiting to pass the tests or appealing deportation rulings. Since being a "paper son" was illegal, secrecy was paramount. The story concentrates on Lee's feelings about traveling alone to America, staying on Angel Island, and navigating the questioning. Failure would mean deportation, giving up the chance to help his grandparents, and losing the money his family paid. Large-scale illustrations, full-page and two-page bleeds, realistically portray the time and place and will help young readers with context. The authors provide a helpful summary of Angel Island history. Use with Milly Lee's Landed (Farrar, 2006) and Laurence Yep's Dragon Child (HarperCollins, 2008) to give young readers a fascinating glimpse into this elusive chapter of American history."--Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.


The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Series: Tales of Young Americans
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585368334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585368334
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic novel written by my professor here in San Diego. Beautifully written story about Angel Island. I am a teacher and it is the perfect book to accompany any 4th grade curriculum related to California. We even skyped with the author after reading it!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I'd never heard of a paper son until I read this book. Young Lee's story taught me how the idea worked, but more important I actually felt the pressure this young boy was under to please his family & hopefully make them proud. As a former librarian I used to look for books like this to create my lessons. Now I share stories like this with my nephew...the only way another young boy can learn about the variety of immigrant journeys here. The authors bring out many other talking points, such as facing fear, cultural differences and trust. "Trust no one" he was told repeatedly, yet his grandmother had stitched into his cap "Trust your heart." And on the last page there's the Angel Island history lesson, the Ellis Island of the West for those entering from the Pacific.

Lee's journey to America is a lesson to us all about the challenges immigrants face. Young Lee came at another time, but all immigrants are nervous about their new life in America, yet believe that a better life will be here.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ordering a second copy as we lent the first one and never got it back. I could not believe the then four and five year old would understand or embrace this story but I was wrong. Now five and six they ask for it to be read again and again so I'm now purchasing for them.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is a thought provoking, beautiful story of a 12-year-old boy coming to America through Angel Island. The authors help the reader appreciate the conflict of leaving home to come to a strange country through the difficult (and not well known) paper son program. Highly recommended for readers, young & old!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Paper Son: Lee's Journey to America (Tales of Young Americans)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Paper Son: Lee's Journey to America (Tales of Young Americans)