THE BONE COLLECTOR’S SON, HISTORICAL FICTION BASED ON FACT FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Paul Yee’s historical novel, published in 2005, is a good read for junior high and above, as well as for adults.  Have you ever heard of Vancouver’s Chinatown riots of September 7, 1907?  Neither have I.  This attempt to purge Canada of Asian immigrants, a parade right through the middle of Chinatown, by the  “Asiatic Exclusion League” turned a bad idea into a war between the Asians and equivalent of the Klu Klux Klan.

The story is told from the point of view of young Ba, son of Bing, the “bone collector,”who makes his living returning the bones of people who died in America back to China to be buried “properly.” It is a job nobody else will do because of superstition and not wanting to do such a lowly job. When Bing digs up the bones of Mr. Shum, whose skull is missing, strange things begin to happen. Although he grew up on ghost stories, Ba tries to heed his father’s advice that there are no such things as ghosts. When Ba “graduates” to houseboy in the Bently home, he finds he must face many things with courage, and eventually is able to help Mrs. Bently “restore” the mansion to its former state and condition. What was a haunted house becomes a happy home.

The characters are fictional, the plot is imaginative, but the facts on which it is based are real. This is a fascinating “peek” into Canada’s history and an easy way to learn and enjoy  it.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

5 thoughts on “THE BONE COLLECTOR’S SON, HISTORICAL FICTION BASED ON FACT FOR YOUNG ADULTS”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this Rae. Being Canadian, I am always looking to read about Canada’s history, good and bad. I am not familiar with this little piece of history, so you can be sure I will be trying to find this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you! I have never been to Canada, but have many friends there. I did, on a trip to Lancaster, N.Y., go over to see a relative in Buffalo, go to Niagra Falls and drive over to the Canadian side in order to say I’d been to Canada! LOL I did the same at Nuevo Laredo, walking across the International Bridge, but at least that time I bought a piñata and boosted the local economy.

      Like

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