Item description for Coolies (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)) by Yin & Chris Soentpiet...
Overview Having arrived in America in the late 1800s from China, Shek and little Wong know that there is difficult work ahead as they take part in building a railroad across the West, but despite their efforts, they are treated more harshly than others and wonder if it is simply due to their ethnicity.
Publishers Description When Shek and little Wong journey to America in 1865, they have work Along with hundreds of other Chinese, the brothers are going to help build a great railroad across the West. But as days grow into months, Shek and Wong endure more than they could have imagined--bleeding hands, blasting dynamite, and treacherous avalanches. For very little pay. Are they being treated this way because of their almond-shaped eyes--because they are coolies?
Inspired by actual events in the history of the American railroad, Cooliesa reveals the harsh truth about life for thousands of Chinese laborers, while it celebrates the love and loyalty between two brothers who were determined not only to survive, but to succeed.
From Publishers Weekly In an impressive debut, Yin illuminates a dark corner of American history--the
monumental labor of the thousands of Chinese immigrants who helped build the
transcontinental railroad. "Look, Little Wong, this is the land of
opportunity!" cries Shek to his brother when their difficult sea voyage ends in
San Francisco. Soon, however, the boys discover a harsher reality as they face
discrimination and derision, particularly from the tyrannical railroad bosses
who call them "coolies." The brothers toil under exhausting and often dangerous
conditions (because they are small, they are made to set the dynamite for
tunnels through the Sierras), and join their fellow laborers in a strike when
they learn that non-Chinese workers are being paid more. The strike fails, work
continues and, in a final insult, everyone but the Chinese are invited to the
celebration of the meeting of the Eastern and Western rail lines in Promontory
Summit, Utah, in 1869. "Call us what you will, it is our hands that helped
build the railroad," says Shek, with the even tones and spare dignity that
characterize Yin's exposition. Soentpiet (Where Is Grandpa?) floods his crowded
compositions with exaggerated sunlight, candlelight, firelight, etc., throwing
his palette into theatrical, overdone shades; this approach, unfortunately,
works against Yin's restraint and balance. The tale ends on an upbeat note as
the brothers establish a bright future in San Francisco; a framing device that
links the story to the present day shores up its relevance for contemporary
readers. Ages 5-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions Coolies (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)) by Yin & Chris Soentpiet has received the following awards and recognitions -
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award - 2003-2004 Nominee - Children's category
Black-Eyed Susan Award - 2002-2003 Nominee - Picture Book category
Citations And Professional Reviews Coolies (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards)) by Yin & Chris Soentpiet has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 1605
Publishers Weekly - 12/11/2000 page 85
Kirkus Review - Children - 01/01/2001 page 61
Booklist - 02/01/2001 page 1059
Horn Book Magazine - 03/01/2001 page 204
School Library Journal - 03/01/2001 page 230
Christian Home & School - 05/01/2001 page 28
Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2001 page 297
ALA Notable Childrens Books - 03/15/2002 page 1235
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2002 page 94
Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/2001 page 297
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 1051
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.12" Width: 12.3" Height: 0.43" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Feb 19, 2001
ISBN 0399232273 ISBN13 9780399232275 UPC 051488007999
Availability 0 units.
More About Yin & Chris Soentpiet
Yin lives in Queens, New York. At the age of eight, I was adopted with my older sister from Korea to live with an American family in Hawaii. When I was 22 years old, I had the opportunity to visit my Korean brother and sisters for the first time since I was adopted . It was a happy reunion. (A book about my adoption will be released in due course.) More about my background can be found in several newspaper publications such as the Daily News and the New York Newsday.
I graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. I studied Advertising, Illustrations, Graphic Design and Art Education. But painting has always been my passion.
With encouragement and guidance from my good friend, author and illustrator, Ted Lewin, I took my portfolio along with some original paintings around New York City. The first ten publishers I visited did not have work for me until I stepped into the office of Lothrop, Lee & Shephard (acquired by: Harper-Collins Publishers). They have given me my first opportunity to illustrate and author my first children's picture book, Around Town.
My books reflect my interest in people, history and its culture. As with all my historical books, researching at the library plays an important role in illustrating the accuracy of the details I paint into each spread. After researching is complete, I hire models to play the parts of the main characters. Using models allows me to achieve a realistic and consistent look from page to page. Based on my research, I have to make the costumes if necessary. I also act as the model's hairdresser and makeup artist. Once I have taken the photographs, I'll use it as a tool to help me during the painting process. This order resembles much of my idol, whom I like to think of myself as an incarnation of the infamous Norman Rockwell.
Reviews - What do customers think about Coolies (Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Children's and Young Adult. Honorable Mention (Awards))?
Asians in America Jan 30, 2007
My first inclination when I saw the title COOLIES was offensive, but as I read the book, I thought how appropriate the title was. I applaud the publisher and author for reminding us of the truth about the Chinese's struggle for dignity and equal rights. The illustrations are luminous and complimentary to the text. I appreciated the artist's attention to detail all the while capturing the human spirit and struggles of early Chinese life in America. This is a must have book for all libraries to include as part of Asian studies. Asians must owe it to the Chinese (especially the Cantonese) whose sacrifices paved the way for all Asians living comfortably in this country today.
Historic Story of Early Chinese-Americans Oct 25, 2003
Delightful story of two young boys who leave China and travel to US to earn money to send home. It begins because a grandmother is trying to teach her grandson the importance of honoring their ancestors.
The story is told by the young boys as they take us on the voyage, into the work camps and show us a glimpse of the predujices they faced in America.
It shows of the love the two boys have for each other and how they sacrifice to see to each others needs during this hard time. In spite of what they face, the boys remain optimistic.
The illustrations are beautiful.
Elliott at Ashley River Creative Arts El. Jan 18, 2002
I think it is a great book that I think everyone should read. It was a great story that had good detail and had awesome illustrations that go really good with the book. I also think that the railroad was a great Place for the two of the characters to work at all through the story.
Richmond from Ashley River Creative Arts El. Dec 7, 2001
I give this book 5 stars because it has beautiful illustrations. The pictures look life like.
Branden From Ashley River Creative Arts El.charle Dec 4, 2001
The part I like about Coolies was when they went to put the dynamite on the edge of the cliff. Chris Sentpient is my favorite Illustrator because he writes good book. I gave you 5 stars.