Exclusion and the Chinese American Story -- Book Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What do you know about the history of Chinese Americans? I am guessing you know about them building the railroad across the country. But there is more to their history that is not usually taught in school history books. Today I get to share a new middle grades book with you that teaches the real Chinese American history in full details. The book is part of the Race to the Truth series. It is Exclusion and the Chinese American Story by Sarah-Soonling Blackbush. It is recommended for ages 10-12.

From the Publisher:

Until now, you've only heard one side of the story, but Chinese American history extends far beyond the railroads. Here's the true story of America, from the Chinese American perspective.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

If you've learned about the history of Chinese people in America, it was probably about their work on the railroads in the 1800s. But more likely, you may not have learned about it at all. This may make it feel like Chinese immigration is a newer part of this country, but some scholars believe the first immigrant arrived from China 499 CE--one thousand years before Columbus did!

When immigration picked up in the mid-1800s, efforts to ban immigrants from China began swiftly. But hope, strength, and community allowed the Chinese population in America to flourish. From the gold rush and railroads to entrepreneurs, animators, and movie stars, this is the true story of the Chinese American experience.

From Me:

Now I am going to begin by letting you know that I have not finished this book. I am sharing my review with you now because this book is so amazing that I have to share it right away. In this day and age where China is in the news as an enemy, it is important for all Americans to learn about the achievements that Chinese Americans have made and the prejudices they have and still face. This book teaches the history. Sarah-Soonling researched the history and shares so Chinese American kids do not have to grow up as she did not knowing the history of her own people. 

The details this book goes into are amazing. She stops to explain various vocabulary, traditions, and history. It is so well written and interesting to read. It goes through some history about the first Chinese people to come to America and why. I love how she builds the Chinese culture into the stories. I also love the variety of history included. From the gold rush to the building of China Towns, it is so interesting. She even explains where some of the incorrect stereotypes come from. There are photographs and a few pictures throughout the book. At the end of each chapter there are questions for the reader to think about and explore more. These questions make the book perfect for using in class or book club. 

This book will become a favorite for Chinese American kids but also a favorite for history teachers. It will lead to many class discussions, as well as having eyes opened for many. It is also the perfect book for a Chinese American who is struggling with identity in this day and age or who want to know more about their history. It is an interesting book and people will love reading it!