Cover image for Precious gold, precious jade
Precious gold, precious jade
Heisel, Sharon E.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 2000.
Physical Description:
186 pages ; 22 cm
A young woman befriends a Chinese family despite the racism and fear that overwhelm the residents of her small western mining town at the end of the gold rush.
Reading Level:
750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.3 6.0 60442.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 11 Quiz: 21804 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Angelena is eager to make friends with Leeana, the new girl in her class. But Angelena has always lived in Oregon, and Leeana has just moved there from China. Soon the two girls find they have a lot in common. But other members of their small Oregon mining town do not adjust as easily to newcomers. In spite of the tension and violence surrounding them, the girls establish a special friendship.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-A novel set at the end of the gold rush in southern Oregon. Two sisters, Angelina and Evangeline, befriend the first Chinese immigrant to attend their school and her family. Several of their classmates, including Angelina's best friend, are hostile and rude. Their feelings are echoes of those of the townspeople, who are divided between those who detest the Chinese and those who tolerate their presence. The strengths of the novel include clear descriptions of the town, vocations, and technology of the period. Economic fears about the end of the gold rush and white settlers' erroneous assumptions about the Chinese culture are shown to be at the root of much violence. However, the characters tend to be too broadly drawn. Angelina, who provides the first-person narration, is almost impossibly heroic for her time, flouting conventions and risking her life to try single-handedly to stop a riot and the burning of the Chinese community. Liza Ketchum's The Gold Rush (Little, Brown, 1996) discusses the violence the Chinese miners experienced, and Laurence Yep's Dragonwings (1975) and Dragon's Gate (1993, both HarperCollins) include Chinese characters that have more flesh and personality. Pair Heisel's book with them for a balanced picture of the period.-Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.