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All of the books have been recommended by the Calgary Board of Education teacher-librarians and meet the evaluation and selection criteria of the CBE.
 


 
An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-ling, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1922
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An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-ling, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1922
Author: Chan, Gillian

2004
Historical fiction
Age:13-15

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Mei-ling is the twelve-year old Chinese daughter of an immigrant Chinese family in the early part of the twentieth century in Canada. She lives with her father in a small room in Chinatown. He works long days as a houseboy in the home of a white family, after he is cheated out of his business by unscrupulous partners. Mei-ling attends school with an assortment of Canadian children, some of whom torment her. She is a gifted artist, and diligent student, whose teacher gives her a bright red diary for her birthday, to acknowledge her tremendous intellectual growth. She is so shy that her only friend is Bess, the daughter of an Irish immigrant family that falls on hard times. After school, Mei-ling works at assorted jobs to help her father accumulate the money to pay the onerous head tax that would allow her mother and young brother to join them in Canada. In her few spare moments, she records her thoughts, using all but the last three pages, which she saves to record the arrival of her mother in Canada. This accurately portrays the arduous life of immigrants in a particularly racially charged time in Canadian history.
 
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