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 Reads

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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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