Dragon Road: Golden Mountain Chronicles: 1939

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9780060275211: Dragon Road: Golden Mountain Chronicles: 1939

Best friends Cal and Barney are down and out in Chinatown. In the America of 1939, they are trapped by invisible barriers created by racial prejudice. With no jobs and no real homes, it's only their wizardry with a basketball that's let them survive this long.

That same skill suddenly flings a door open to fame and fortune when a professional basketball team, the Dragons, invites them to join the team. Soon they're barnstorming across America and taking on all comers—from local amateurs to other professional teams like the Harlem Globetrotters.

On that long, difficult road, they must battle rowdy teams and their even rougher fans on makeshift courts. Cal, aka Flash, and the team must also overcome terrible weather, crumbling highways, and their own disintegrating car. As the tour starts to fall apart, the tension between Cal and the team's jealous captain comes to a head. Suddenly Cal must choose between loyalty to his teammates and the pursuit of his own celebrity.

Inspired by the pioneering professional Chinese American basketball team the Hong Wah Kues, Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep re-creates a colorful era of barnstorming basketball and leads readers through the heartache and glory of the dragon road.

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About the Author:

Laurence Yep has been fascinated with tales of sibling rivalry from the day he was born. His older brother, Tom, chose his name Laurence—after a saint who died a particularly gruesome death. Laurence has been trying to get even ever since. Laurence Yep now lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife and is one of children's literature's most respected authors. His award-winning titles include Newbery Honor Books Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5 Up—As a person of Chinese ancestry who dares to venture beyond the confines of his own ethnic enclave, Calvin "Flash" Chin, a recent high-school graduate, finds the America of 1939 to be a dangerous place. Persuaded by a couple of fast-talking recruiters to join a barnstorming basketball team composed entirely of Chinese Americans, he leaves the safety of San Francisco's Chinatown to travel with his teammates to small towns throughout the West, playing against the local talent. The stories that Calvin has heard of violence against previous generations of Chinese workers are never far from his mind, and he learns firsthand that unthinking, knee-jerk hostility toward all outsiders is still very much a part of the American landscape. Prejudice both crude and subtle is pervasive, as is the threat of violence. Neither the natural beauty of the land nor the joy of athletic competition ever completely dispels the atmosphere of menace. Calvin, straddling two cultures, draws comfort and solace from his heritage even as he explicitly rejects the spirit of interconnectedness that animates his elders' worldview. Readers with a taste for sports history will enjoy the fact-based account of the hardscrabble existence of Depression-era barnstorming teams. A worthy addition to this important series.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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