Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Jason is an outsider. A recent immigrant from China, he lives in a close-minded town with his mother and younger brother. Falling in with the wrong crowd, trying to fit in, Jason takes chances and ends up in trouble with the police. Holding on to his friendship with an Indigenous boy, also an outsider, Jason finds he needs to fight to belong and to find a new home.
About the author
Paul Yee is one of Canada's finest writers for children. He was raised in Vancouver and has worked in the archives at the Vancouver Museum. He won the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature for Ghost Train. He now lives in Toronto.
Ghost Trainbr> Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award 1996br> Winner of the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award 1997br> Finalist for the Toronto IODE Book Award 1997
The Bone Collector's Sonbr> Winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award 2004br> Finalist for the Rocky Mountain Book Award 2006br> Finalist for the Stellar Book Award (BC Teen Readers' Choice Award) 2005-6br> Chosen as Best of 2004, Resource Links.ca
Bamboobr> Finalist for the Chocolate Lily Award 2007 (BC Readers' Choice Award)br> Chosen as Best of 2006, Resource Links
The Jade Necklacebr> Finalist for the Mr. Christie's Book Award 2002
Excerpt: Learning to Fly (by (author) Paul Yee)
The train swings around the curve. Its one headlight races toward us. High on the engine's nose, a window glints. The ground is shaking. I watch the train. It comes closer and closer. I dash to the tracks, watching a fence on the other side. Noise and wind swallow me. I jump.
Tucson Unified School District
"There's a lot to think about in this small book. It might even be a book read to the end by kids who don't like to read."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"This is a tale about the effects of prejudice and the redeeming power of friendship...A very good selection for reluctant readers in high school who need high interest books."
Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee
"[Yee's] characters and their life struggles ring true and are likely to connect well with teen readers. Written in a fast-paced, easy-to-read style, this book should be successful with reluctant readers."
"While maintaining young readers' interest in the plot, Yee's novel will also help them to develop and gain confidence in their reading skills."
"Reluctant readers will be drawn to this book because of the content and its length."
"Yee's slim novel packs in a lot."
"Fast-paced, easy-to-read drama."
The Horn Book Guide
"Engage[s] the reader...This book will be useful in cultural diversity classes or for students who are having a hard time finding their place in school...Recommended."
Library Media Connection
Other titles by Paul Yee
Shu-Li and the Magic Pear Tree
Dear Canada: Hoping for Home
Stories of Arrival
The Bone Collector's Son
A Superior Man
Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts
A Literary Cookbook
Au Canada : De fer et de sang
La construction du chemin de fer canadien, Lee Heen-gwon, Colombie-Britannique, 1882
Cher Journal : Terre d'accueil, terre d'espoir