I Am Canada: Blood and Iron: Building the Railway, Lee Heen-gwong, British Columbia, 1882

Hardcover | September 1, 2010

byPaul Yee

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The incredible sacrifices made by Chinese workers building the transcontinental railway are revealed in this powerful novel.

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.

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From the Publisher

The incredible sacrifices made by Chinese workers building the transcontinental railway are revealed in this powerful novel.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...

PAUL YEE has written close to 20 picture books and novels about the Chinese experience in Canada. "When I was a child... there were no books about my world - the world of immigrants, racial minorities and different histories. I had to learn about these things much later in life." Born in Saskatchewan and raised in Vancouver, he now liv...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 6.77 × 4.69 × 0.85 inPublished:September 1, 2010Publisher:Scholastic Canada LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545985935

ISBN - 13:9780545985932

Appropriate for ages: 9

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Priase for I Am Canada"... the chief characters are eminently likeable and quietly heroic, and their tales utterly engrossing." -The Globe and Mail