Coolies by Yin

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Yin

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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.
 
Published February 19, 2001 by Philomel Books. 48 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, History. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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(The author’s note informs the reader that thousands of Chinese laborers died while working on the railroad.) Shek and the other Chinese workers tried to stand up for themselves by staging a strike, but were forced to back down before any of their demands were met.

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Publishers Weekly

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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 Wo

Feb 19 2001 | Read Full Review of Coolies

Publishers Weekly

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""In an impressive debut, Yin illumines a dark corner of American history-the monumental labor of the thousands of Chinese immigrants who helped build the transcontinental railroad,"" wrote PW.

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Publishers Weekly

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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...

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