Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Fourteen-year-old Bing is upset with his father for forcing him to help him dig up the bones of Chinese men and women in order to send them back to China. After they discover a skeleton without a skull, Ba is haunted by the powerful ghost. Later Bing gets a job as houseboy for a wealthy family, where he finds another ghost haunting the family. Bing is finally able to find out what both ghosts want from the living and rescues his father from impending death.
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
- Short-listed, BCLA stellar Award
- Joint winner, Resource Links Best of 2004
- Short-listed, City of Vancouver Book Award
“This is a book that shows the imaginative power of fiction. It demonstrates that empathy across time and cultures is possible.”
The Georgia Straight
“A great read-aloud, either at home or in the classroom.”
Toronto Star, starred review
“Yee skillfully contrasts the supernatural with brutal, racial prejudice and the haunted, unsettled yearning of immigrants longing for roots.”
“The story also offers young readers a glimpse into the racism and tough conditions faced by Chinese immigrants at the turn of the century.”
The Bone Collector’s SonAward-winning author Paul Yee tells the tale of how ghosts haunt Bing and his bone-collector father after they dig up the bones of a murdered Chinese worker.
More than a ghost story, this novel invites readers to empathize with Bing-wing Chan, who resents his father for his bad habits and for his job as a bone collector which requires him to digs up skeletons of deceased Chinese. Paul Yee is an important author giving voice to the Chinese experience, and this title is valuable in helping students understand the history and culture of Chinese immigrants. I recommend that teachers organize an author study of this title, along with other titles by the award-winning author.
Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.
Other titles by Paul Yee
Up and Down Gold Mountain
A Primer on Chinese-Canadian History
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