When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a fifteen-year-old Chinese boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1867
In 1867, Otter travels from Three Willows Village in China to California -- the Land of the Golden Mountain. There he will join his father and uncle.
In spite of the presence of family, Otter is a stranger among the other Chinese in this new land. And where he expected to see a land of goldfields, he sees only vast, cold whiteness. But Otter's dream is to learn all he can, take the technology back to the Middle Kingdom, and free China from the Manchu invaders.
Otter and the others board a machine that will change his life -- a train for which he would open the Dragon's Gate.
Sailing to California in 1865, fourteen-year-old Otter leaves China to meet his father and legendary uncle on the transcontinental railroad, an adventure that challenges his survival on the mountains of the Sierras. Newbery Honor Book. Reprint.
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Coming of age story, including some historic information from character point of view. Depicts information about conflict of how part of America "tamed' the country and broke the people along the way. Read this with my teen for school. Great catalyst for discussion on human rights, social structure, kindness, bullying, what to value in life and choices we make.
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