The Traitor by Laurence Yep
Golden Mountain Chronicles: 1885

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Life is very tough in the Wyoming Territory in 1885 -- and not just because of the brutal environment. Michael Purdy is an outcast in the small town of Rock Springs. At times bullied and bloodied and at other times ignored, Michael feels that he might as well be a ghost in this town of rough miners.

But life is even tougher for Joseph Young -- a Chinese American boy Michael's age. Despised by the American miners, the Chinese work for slave wages and in increasingly dangerous conditions. Born in America but never feeling he belongs, Joseph burns with the desire to be a "real American boy" -- a dream his father and the other Chinese laborers don't understand. To them, life in America is a constant struggle against poverty, deprivation, and hate. When the town's growing resentment toward the Chinese explodes in an event of horrifying cruelty, Michael and Joseph must trust each other with their lives.

Based on the actual events of one of the worst race riots in American history, The Traitor is a powerful, haunting, and ultimately hopeful story about a unique friendship strong enough to bring two worlds together.


About Laurence Yep

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Laurence Yep, born in 1948 in San Francisco, is a well-known writer of fiction for young adults. He has also written and edited several works for adults. Yep was educated at Marquette University and holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Yep is Chinese American. He grew up in a black neighborhood in San Francisco, attended school in Chinatown, and later attended a predominately white high school. Much of the subject matter for his work comes out of his experiences trying to establish his own identity as a child and teenager. He writes about the experience of the "outsider" or "alien" and perhaps that is why his first writing was science fiction. Sweetwater, his first novel, was published in 1973 and is a work of science fiction. His second work Dragonwings published in 1975 is widely acclaimed. This is a work of historical fiction that deals with the Chinese American experience of the 1930's when many immigrants came to this country. Yep has gone on to write many other stories about Chinese Americans. He has also written mysteries, two of which have as the main character Mark Twain as a reporter in San Francisco. Yep has written fantasy works such as Shadow Lord and Kind Hearts and Gentle Monsters. Yep has won numerous awards for his work included a Book-of-the-Month-Club Writing Fellowship in 1970, the prestigious Newbery Medal Honor Book, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award several times.
Published March 1, 2003 by HarperCollins. 320 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Yep lays down another course of his now monumental, seven-generation family chronicle begun in Dragonwings (1975) with this tale of two Wyoming Territory outsiders—one an illegitimate white child, the other a US-born son of a Chinese coal miner—who witness the Rock Springs massacre, one of the mo...

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Publishers Weekly

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Laurence Yep's Golden Mountain Chronicles-which traces the experiences of the Youngs, a Chinese family, over several generations in America (the publisher includes in the series Dragonwings, Dragon

Mar 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The Traitor: Golden Mountain ...

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