- Commended, IODE Canada Violet Downey Recommended List, 2011
Scholastic Canada Ltd | ISBN 9781443119269 Ebook
240 Pages | Ages 9 to 12
Scholastic Canada Ltd | ISBN 9780545985932 Hardcover
240 Pages | 4.69" x 6.77" | Ages 9 to 12
Heen's father and grandfather have brought their family in China to the brink of ruin with their gambling habits. To solve their money troubles, Heen and his father come to Canada to build the railway — a decision plagued by disaster.
The living conditions provided for workers are wretched and work on the railway is excruciating. Transporting tons of gravel and working in tunnels about to be dynamited proves to be deadly for many of his co-workers. Soon the friction between the Chinese workers and the whites, who barely acknowledge these deaths, reaches a fevered pitch. As an added stress, Heen's father has found some men to gamble with, which puts all of their earnings at risk.
Heen's only solace is his journal, where his chilling observations of the injustice and peril heaped upon the workers serve as an important testament to this dramatic era in Canadian history.
". . . the chief characters are eminently likeable and quietly heroic, and their tales utterly engrossing." — The Globe and Mail