It’s 1864, and many have come to seek their fortune in the gold-laden mountains of California. Emma Fong, the booksmart and streetwise daughter of a respected Chinese merchant, is more than able to hold her own in the one-room schoolhouse of the mining town of La Porte. But when the town hires a stiff-necked teacher with staunch views against the Chinese, Emma’s life crumbles. As the teacher stokes anti-Asian sentiment among Emma’s neighbors, Emma must believe in herself and the strengths of her people to survive the growing hate. Will she be able to stake a permanent claim of her own as an American in the Wild West?
It’s the storytellers that preserve a nation’s history. But what happens when some stories are silenced? The I Am America series features fictional stories based on important historical events about people whose voices have been excluded, lost, or forgotten over time.
About the Author
Jean Kuo Lee is a Chinese American writer. Born and raised in the United States, she is the daughter of immigrants. Her family roots stretch across the dry steppes of Northern China and the borders of the Korean peninsula, over waters to the island of Taiwan. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA and enjoyed inheriting the literary tradition of the West. Now, she lives in California and is the proud mother of two bookworms whom she homeschooled for many years. She writes fiction and nonfiction books for curious kids.