Working on the Transcontinental Railroad promises a fortune—for those who survive.
Growing up in 1860s China, Tam Ling Fan has lived a life of comfort. Her father is wealthy enough to provide for his family but unconventional enough to spare Ling Fan from the debilitating foot-binding required of most well-off girls. But Ling Fan’s life is upended when her brother dies of influenza and their father is imprisoned under false accusations. Hoping to earn the money that will secure her father’s release, Ling Fan disguises herself as a boy and takes her brother’s contract to work for the Central Pacific Railroad Company in America.
Life on “the Gold Mountain” is grueling and dangerous. To build the railroad that will connect the west coast to the east, Ling Fan and other Chinese laborers lay track and blast tunnels through the treacherous peaks of the Sierra Nevada, facing cave-ins, avalanches, and blizzards—along with hostility from white Americans.
When someone threatens to expose Ling Fan’s secret, she must take an even greater risk to save what’s left of her family . . . and to escape the Gold Mountain alive.
|Interest Level||Grade 6 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 6|
|Category||Diverse Books: Feminism, Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Class, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Carolrhoda Lab ®|
|Number of Pages||288|
Author: Betty G. Yee
Betty G. Yee was born and raised in Massachusetts. She spent much of her early life reimagining stories or writing sequels to them. Betty has taught elementary school for over twenty years. When she's not teaching, reading, or writing, she enjoys traveling, biking, and eating French fries. She lives in Medford, Massachusetts with her two bossy cats, Zara and Piper.
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Working on the Transcontinental Railroad promises a fortune—for those who survive. Growing up in 1860s China, Tam Ling Fan has lived a life of comfort. Her father is wealthy enough to provide for his family but unconventional enough to spare Ling Fan from the… View available downloads →
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Debut author Betty G. Yee tells a suspenseful, immersive depiction of a pivotal point in US history in Gold Mountain. In the 1860s, Tam Ling Fan needs money to help her father. Disguised as a boy, she travels from China to America to take a dangerous job as a laborer on the… View →
- CALA/YALSA Chinese American Reading List
- Massachusetts Book Award Honor Book
- YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Shortlist
“An exceptionally told story that will satisfy readers of history, mystery, and adventure while providing food for thought.”—starred, Booklist
“Gold Mountain is the historical tale of a courageous daughter whose determination helps to change the face of America, as well as her Chinese family’s fortunes.”—Foreword Reviews
“A thought-provoking adventure that adds more nuance and complexity to the history of the building of the transcontinental railroad.”—School Library Journal
“An adventure-filled glimpse into history through the eyes of a determined daughter.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Ling Fan felt like my indomitable best friend—I was rooting for her as she faced impossible stakes and truly terrifying villainy. I loved this book!”—Karen Bao, author of The Dove Chronicles series
“A story of strength, courage, and resilience that not only brings the past to vivid, complex life, but has much to say about the present…thrilling, engrossing, and moving. I couldn’t put it down.” —Kate Racculia, author of Bellweather Rhapsody