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Dear Canada: A step back in time


An Ocean Apart

An Ocean Apart
The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-ling

By Gillian Chan

ISBN: 978-0-7791-1353-8 Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4431-1984-9 Ebook
224 pages | Ages 8-12 | 5 3/8" x 7 5/8"

Mei-ling lives with her father in Vancouver, but her mother and baby brother are still in China. Mei-ling works after school, and her father holds down several jobs, in a frantic effort to come up with the head tax that will allow her mother and brother to come to Canada. They must have that money before the Exclusion Act bars any more Chinese from immigrating. Mei-ling cannot stop thinking about what will happen if they are unable to come up with the money to reunite their family?

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From Mei-ling's diary:

Monday, November 13, 1922

My Baba looked very serious and he asked me how much I thought about Ma. Every day, was what I said, but I did not tell him that I thought of Ma many times each day. Baba smiled and said that he did too. He looked very hard at me, making sure our eyes saw each other. "I promise, Mei-ling," he said, "that we will do everything we can to bring your mother and brother here." He gripped my arm, so tight that it hurt. I knew that what Baba said was true. If we continue to work hard and save our money, we can pay their fares and tax just like Uncle Wing-lok did for us.

Thursday, November 16, 1922

Baba has never told me exactly how much we have saved, but I know his dream is for both Ma and Little Brother to come together. When I think how much money we need, I feel very small. A thousand dollars and their fare on the boat — how many hours will we have to work for that?

From Dear Canada: An Ocean Apart, copyright © 2004 by Gillian Chan.


I loved this book. It was one of the best Dear Canada books.
Cosette S., Age 11, Ontario, Rating: 9

I read this book today I got hooked on to it the first time I read it. I collect Dear Canada books and I like stories from the past and present. I hope you do to!!!!
Lindsay M., Age 11, British Columbia, Rating: 7

I signed this out from the library right after I finished reading To Stand on My Own. I love these books so much! I had to go to the Library to get more! They are definitely going on my top series list!
Morgan L., Age 10, Nova Scotia, Rating: 10

I love all the Dear Canada books, and I've read all of them! This book was the 5th one I read and is awesome. I would recommend it to everyone.
Aynslie M., Age 11, Quebec, Rating: 10

I loved this book. Mei-Ling was such a selfless person, always wanting to help her father. A really great read; I'm glad I bought it and gave it a try. You've done it again, Dear Canada.
Nikki W., Age: 13, U.S.A., Rating: 8