Set in the Wild West during frontier times, Yipee's Gold Mountain is told by Yip Yee, an orphaned Chinese ex-railway laborer who hopes to be a cowboy, and Na-tio, an Apache warrior-apprentice who is r
Set in the Wild West during frontier times, Yipee's Gold Mountain is told by Yip Yee, an orphaned Chinese ex-railway laborer who hopes to be a cowboy, and Na-tio, an Apache warrior-apprentice who is recovering from his first botched raid.
Through alternating chapters both characters reveal different sides of the story, as their mutual suspicion turns to friendship. Together, Na-tio and the tiny, determined Yip Yee face down a wolf attack, a sinister bounty hunter and greater challenges still, in this hard scrabble world of fortune-seekers, soldiers and warriors. Through all this, Na-tio must cope with a terrible crisis for his people, and Yip Yee is guarding a big secret.
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Driven by a fast-paced plot, delivered in deceptively simple language, Yipee's Gold Mountain addresses themes of inter-cultural confusion, conflict, and cooperation. Books, periodicals, and a research trip to Arizona provided the basis for the story.
An author's note discusses historic background and setting, and offers a partial list of sources as well as acknowledgements.
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has lived with her family in Montreal since 1999 but at various stages of her life also lived in Washington DC, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Barcelona and Toronto. She is the author of three critically acclaimed children's books about the Indigenous peoples of the Far North, Tuk and the Whale, Orphan Ahwak, and Arctic Adventures: Tales from the Lives of Inuit Artists.
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"The novel is crafted effectively. . . The novel challenges the assumptions and stereotypes that people may have about the behaviour of indigenous or Chinese communities.
— CM Magazine
"Yipee's Gold Mountain is historical fiction intended for struggling readers, but its layered issues will also reward strong, contemplative readers. . . The story raises complex questions about what it means to be an American, how people give and receive care over our lives, and how gender and perceptions shape our experiences and the way others value us. The novel is likely to generate substantial conversation and could work well in a small classroom or teen book group (the author offers her own perspectives on some of these questions in the back matter).
"I kept thinking about the story, the characters, and the questions the novel raised long after I closed Yipee's Gold Mountain; for me, that's the mark of a thoughtful book. As Canadians try to recognize and unpack settler culture and to understand Indigenous concerns, books like this can help readers appreciate nuances of history that may otherwise be lost."
— Resource Links
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Winner of the 2019 Quebec Writers Federation's Literary Awards in the Children's and Young Adult Literature category