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Red Means Good Fortune
A Story of San Francisco's Chinatown
Illustrated by Wenhai Ma; Once Upon America Series
ISBN: 0140360824, Paperback
Puffin Books, 1996   [Buy this Book]
ISBN: 0613095022, Hardcover
Econo-Clad Books, 1999   [Buy this Book]
Reading level: Ages 7 to 11

 
"Red, the joy color, was everywhere. There were red papers with poems written on them and red cloth draped over newly painted signs. Inside the houses and out, there was the color red."
"Hope was in the air."


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Jin Mun feels the excitement that runs all through Chinatown on New Year's Day, and the hope that this year will bring happiness, wealth, and good luck. Here in America, Jin Mun and his family have the chance to build a different future. Then Jin Mun befriends Wai Hing, a poor slave girl who can't ever leave the house where she works. In this land of opportunity, she cannot choose her own path. Can Jin Mun find a way to set her free?
 
Barbara Diamond Goldin says, "I became interested in the Chinese immigrant experience in the Northwest when I lived in Washington state. I heard exciting stories about Chinese crews helping to build the railroads, and horrifying stories about anti-Chinese riots in the 1870s."
 
"When I began doing research for this book, I learned even more. I never knew Chinese girls were sold as servants in this country; the practice continued into the 1920s."
 
"In my reading, I also came across accounts of young Chinese men who, working with a missionary woman named Donaldina Cameron, helped rescue Chinese slave girls. One such man later courted and married a slave girl he had helped to free. Out of all this research, my story grew, a story about the Chinese slave trade, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and a brave Chinese-American boy named Chin Jin Mun."
 
"Jin Mun, 12 in 1869 is on a mission of his own, to help a young girl who was kidnapped in China and sold into slavery in San Francisco. Well researched and clearly written." --School Library Journal
 
This book is out of print in paperback and hardcover. Available in libraries and from stores and websites that sell out of print books, such as www.bibliofind.com.

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Text © 2001-2008 Barbara Diamond Goldin / Illustrations © 2001 Marylin Hafner
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