Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Written by: Milly Lee

First line: On his twelfth birthday, Sun's parents gave him an American fountain pen.

Why you should read this book: In the early 20th century, racist immigration laws sought to stem the flow of Chinese workers into the US, and young men who were allowed in to help their fathers in business were subjected to rigorous testing to ensure that they were who they said their were. When Sun is old enough to accompany his father to Gold Mountain, he must memorize salient details about his home and family to prove his legal standing, and he worries about mixing up his cardinal directions or forgetting how far it is from his house to his school. This historical text shows the details of a Pacific crossing and the reality of detention at Angel Island, as told to the author by her father-in-law, who lived through it.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Patrolling the Mexican border.

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