A young Chinese boy nicknamed Runt records his experiences in a journal as he travels from southern China to California in 1852 to join his uncle during the Gold Rush.
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It is 1852, and 10-year-old Wong Ming-Chung, or Bright Intelligence--or Runt, as he is most commonly called--has arrived at the gold mines of California after a dangerous journey from China. Exchanging the famine and war of his native country for the brutal bullies and grueling labor in America, Runt joins his uncle and countless others in the effort to strike it rich on the great "Golden Mountain." Unfortunately, he, and most of the rest of the dreamers, soon discover that there's no such thing as a Golden Mountain, only dirt, mud, and tiny, occasional flecks of gold dust--flecks that are to be turned over to the owners of the mines, in return for barely livable wages. However, someone as clever and resourceful as Runt can still find true opportunity in this land. He and his uncle team up to find ingenious new ways of making money, and to defend themselves against the bitter, racist white Americans. Along the way, Runt develops lasting friendships with many people from all over the world, learning ways to communicate with them in spite of cultural and language differences.
A thoroughly engrossing addition to the Dear America series, this historical fiction is written in the form of a diary. Laurence Yep has proven himself a master in his art, with such titles as the Newbery Honor-winning Dragonwings, among many other tales about the Chinese immigrant experience. A fictional epilogue, photos from the gold rush era, and a historical note round out this fascinating page-turner. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie CoulterAbout the Author:
Laurence Yep is the acclaimed author of more than sixty books for young people and a winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. His illustrious list of novels includes THE JOUNRAL OF WONG MING-CHUNG, A CHINESE MINER; the Newbery Honor Books DRAGONGWINGS and DRAGON'S GATE from the Golden Mountain Chronicles; The Tiger's Apprentice trilogy; THE DRAGON AWAKES: THE SAN FRANSCISCO FIRE OF 1906; and THE DRAGON'S CHILD: A STORY OF ANGEL ISLAND, which he cowrote with his niece, Dr. Kathleen S. Yep.
Mr. Yep lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife.
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