by Milly Lee and Yangsook Choi
Sun is ready to leave his village in China for America, the place known as Gum Saan, Gold Mountain. His father warns him, though, that passage will not be easy. Because of the 1882
Chinese Exclusion Act, new immigrants like Sun are detained at Angel Island until they are called to take a difficult oral exam before they can "land" - leave Angel Island and go ashore. On the boat, Sun had studied maps of his village and memorized facts about his ancestors. But as the weeks pass in detainment, the map's compass points swirl in his memory, and
Sun worries that he will lose his direction and be turned away.
The oil paintings are rich with historical details in this vivid recounting, based on the author's father-in-law's experiences, of a disturbing chapter in Chinese American history.
After leaving his village in southeastern China, twelve-year-old Sun is held at Angel Island, San Francisco, before being released to join his father, a merchant living in the area. Includes historical notes.
Milly Lee grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown as Mildred Chan in a household where grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins all lived under one roof. She attended Chinese school after the regular school day and spoke Cantonese at home and in the neighborhood. Up until the end of World War II, Chinatown was a small, close-knit community whose members were under pressure to conform to the ideals of Chinese culture.When she was a child, Milly found few books about children like herself. There were some Asian stories, but they were set in an exotic land of long, long ago. Milly felt strongly that stories of bicultural children and their experiences needed to be voiced, so that they would see their own likeness in books. A retired school librarian who had been very active in the American Library Association, among other professional associations and organizations, she knew exactly what she wanted her first book to be.Nim and the War Effort is an autobiographical story, but it speaks directly to the experiences of all bicultural children in their struggles to find out who they are. In it, a young Chinese American girl, trying to prove her patriotism during World War II, risks her family’s disapproval by leaving Chinatown to collect newspapers for the war effort.Milly revisits Chinatown in Earthquake.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 2/21/2006
Edition description: Hardcover
Age range: 8 - 11 Years
- Historical | United States - 20th Century
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Asian American - Social Issues | Prejudice & Racism
- Chinese Americans -Immigrants - China -History
- 20th century -Angel Island (Calif.) - San Francisco (Calif.)