Escape to Gold Mountain

Escape to Gold Mountain

A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America

Book - 2012
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Winner, Chinese American Library Association Best Book Award winner (Fiction)

The history of Chinese immigration to Canada and the US over the past 100-plus years has been fraught with sadness and indignity; newcomers to North America encountered discrimination, subjugation, and separation from loved ones. As well, in Canada the Chinese head tax was introduced after the Canadian Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 to discourage Chinese immigrants, while in the US, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act outright banned Chinese immigration to America. Despite such obstacles, these Chinese newcomers persevered in order to create a better life for the generations to come.

Escape to Gold Mountain is the first graphic novel to tell their story: based on historical documents and interviews with elders, this is a vivid history of the Chinese in their search for "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese colloquialism for North America) as seen through the eyes of the Wong family. They traverse the challenges of eking out an existence in their adopted homeland with hope and determination, creating a poignant immigrant's legacy for their sons and daughters.

Escape to Gold Mountain is a moving and gripping story for all young North Americans.

Ages 12 and up.

Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9781551524764
Branch Call Number: J 970.0049510222 Won
Characteristics: 239 pages : illustrations


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Apr 04, 2017

It glossed over ethnocentric protectionist China on lack of intelligence Europe was changing both economics & military. It relied on lumped on heathen stereotypes reports.
Book never mentioned Taiping Rebellion by failed bureaucrat applicant that discovered Christianity that killed & displaced millions. That & secondary revolts prevented any chance Manchu Empire of industrialization as it rebuild infrastructure.
No mention on how many Chinese arrived & stayed in Canada & United states or if population shrank from 1907-1947 in any graph.
What maps of disappeared Chinatowns in North America?
Characters never mentioned any news from the motherland from Boxer rebellion, Chinese Republic, warlordism, Chinese civil war from 1922-1937 & 1945-1949 that killed millions. Ditto People Republic of China & messy consolidation especially Cultural Revolution. Only focused on Japanese invading China. Focused too much on one family & not about their neighbors in the villages.
Finally, no mention of low-level hostility of recent professional white collar Hong Kong buying homes & cars in cash in late 1980s to today.
Good, but incomplete insular picture.

sit_walk Nov 28, 2016

An important story, no question, and one deserving of wider exposure to all North Americans. This particular rendering though, while admirable, is a bit flat. As an example of sequential art, nice effort but falls short.

Jul 14, 2015

This book is a heartbreaking, and very effective, account of the Chinese experience in North America. There is a great deal for Americans and Canadians to regret in their treatment of the Chinese, and the official apologies documented at the end of the book hardly seem like a sufficient outcome. Bravo to David Wong for incorporating the stories of his forebears with extensive research into the history of Chinese immigration to Canada. I wish that this book were part of the history syllabus for every province and territory in Canada, and that every Canadian kid would have the opportunity to read it.

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Apr 04, 2017

mammothhawk229e thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 05, 2013

flytrap thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Apr 04, 2017

Coarse Language: Derogatory vocabulary.


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Oct 05, 2013

Remarkable graphic novel… (the) blending of U.S. and Canadian history is one of the delightful and unusual aspects of this important book. No doubt, this is a story of racism, exploitation, and violence; but it's also a story of warmth and solidarity
- Teaching for Change



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