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Landed
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Landed

by Milly Lee, Yangsook Choi (Illustrator)
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Told with quiet restraint. But the tension is always there, and Choi's beautiful, full-page line-and-watercolor paintings, in sepia tones and shades of green, are quiet and packed with feeling.” —Starred, Booklist

“Choi's soft illustrations. . . capture the spirit of the time with beautiful visual detail. This is a significant book.” —School Library Journal

“This testament to the pull of "Gold Mountain" offers a bit of Chinese-American history in a handsome package.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Provides a rare glimpse into the challenges posed for Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century.” —Publishers Weekly

“Choi's lovely, somber, full-page watercolors and Lee's quiet narrative. . .put a human face on the great abstraction of immigration.” —Washington Post Book World

“Ellis Island may be well known to most schoolchildren, but its West Coast cousin is finally getting the attention it deserves.” —The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

Publishers Weekly
In this picture book from the team behind Nim and the War Effort, aimed at older readers, comes a detailed, often moving story of immigration at Angel Island, based on the experience of the author's father-in-law. At Sun's 12th birthday celebration, his father, a merchant who owns an imported foods store in San Francisco, informs the boy that the two of them will soon be leaving their Chinese village for America. Here Sun will go to school and work at his father's store. Before they depart, a tutor prepares Sun to correctly answer the questions American immigration officials will ask, to prove Sun's identity. "One wrong answer, and you might be sent back to China," his father warns. The purpose of these interrogations becomes clear when Sun, separated from his father upon their arrival, learns from other young detainees that some Chinese families send boys to the U.S. who falsely claim to be sons of returning merchants or American citizens, to gain entry into the country. (In a concluding note, Lee fleshes out the historical background of these "paper sons.") The author builds suspense as Sun stumbles several times during his interrogations, and provides a rare glimpse into the challenges posed for Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century. The spare, though occasionally wooden, earth-toned pictures convey the Chinese landscape as well as the interiors of the ship and detainees' quarters. Ages 8-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
On Sun's twelfth birthday, he learned that he would soon be leaving his home village in China to join his brothers in America. His father was a successful merchant who owned an import store in San Francisco, which provided food for Chinese stores and restaurants. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was designed to make immigration from China more difficult. New arrivals were held at Angel Island for months, sometimes years, and subjected to a series of tests intended to prove that they were legitimate members of approved families. Sun spent many hours with his tutor studying before his departure. One mistake or forgotten fact could prevent his entry into the United States. Sun waited over a month in the prison-like conditions of Angel Island before his name was called. He answered most questions easily, but became confused when asked about the direction his bedroom faced at home. Directions had always been hard for him to remember. Fortunately, he received a gift from his father just in time and passed the tests. Full-page watercolor illustrations face each page of text. The text is longer and denser than that found in most picture books, making this book more appropriate for older readers. Based on the experiences of Lee's father-in-law, the story has an authentic basis. 2006, Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus and Giroux, Ages 7 to 12.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Entering America from China will be difficult for 12-year-old Sun because of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, even though he will be traveling with his father. He studies hard so that he can answer all of the questions the American officials will ask upon his arrival; he will be alone because his father, a returning merchant, will not have to be interrogated. When he arrives on Angel Island, where Asian immigrants are held for sometimes up to a year, he waits four weeks to be called. The only questions that he can't answer are about directions, and it seems that he might fail the test and be sent back to China. Finally, with the help of a compass, he passes the test. Based on the experiences of the author's father-in-law, the book recounts a story from a neglected and shameful era in United States history. An author's note gives readers more information about the history of Chinese immigration and suggests resources for further research. Choi's soft illustrations, reminiscent of those in Allen Say's Grandfather's Journey (Houghton, 1993), capture the spirit of the time with beautiful visual detail. This is a significant book; from it, students will learn much about this chapter in U.S. history.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Drawing on the reminiscences of her father-in-law, Lee details 12-year-old Sun's emigration to San Francisco from China in 1915. Sun's father, a merchant with a U.S. business, informs Sun that he will join his brothers, studying and working in America. Sun's tutor painstakingly prepares him for the challenges of immigration. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese immigrants, many of them boys, were detained on Angel Island, awaiting hours of interrogation about the minutiae of their families and villages. Officials sought inconsistencies exposing "paper sons"-boys posing as the offspring of U.S. citizens or merchants. Though a "true son," Sun worries that his poor sense of direction will cause him to answer incorrectly. Lee's narration of Sun's weeks on Angel Island-waiting, befriending two paper sons, and enduring the grueling interviews-is plain and measured, reflecting the serious burden Sun withstands. Choi's full-bleed and spot illustrations employ muted greens and ochres to depict village scenes, the sea journey and the detention center. This testament to the pull of "Gold Mountain" offers a bit of Chinese-American history in a handsome package. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374343149
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
02/21/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
741,925
Product dimensions:
9.01(w) x 10.98(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

MILLY LEE is the author of Earthquake (see page 49), also illustrated by Yangsook Choi. She grew up in San Francisco's
Chinatown and lives in Santa Rosa, California. YANGSOOK
CHOI has written and illustrated many books for children,
including Peach Heaven. She lives in New York City.

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