Winner of the 1993 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award and the CLA Book of the Year Award
Jasmine is not sure she likes the idea of being stuck in Victoria while her father goes to China for a year. But on a field trip to Chinatown, she explores a curious shop in Fan Tan Alley and accidentally passes through a hidden door. She finds herself in Victoria’s Chinatown of the late 1880’s. Mistaken for a Chinese boy, she is soon caught up in a race through the Fraser Canyon to find a tiger amulet.
Julie Lawson has written more than 20 young adult titles. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
This is a complex and ambitious first novel. Lawson skilfully interweaves the narratives of present and past, exploring the concerns of each on many levels. The examination of racism and greed in B.C.'s early days is well integrated into the narrative.
Julie Lawson has written a story so well grounded in real-life Victoria, B.C., now and in 1881, that the fantasy of time travel between our time and the past seems natural and necessary. White Jade Tiger is successful, both at telling a gripping story and finishing it in a satisfying, believable way.
White Jade Tiger opens up a window onto another world, and allows recognition of the riches inherent in another culture.
Young-adult readers will enjoy meeting Jasmine and Keung and sharing their adventures as they search for the white jade tiger. Recommended.
Lawson's book is especially recommended for strong readers with an interest in history.
"Lawson's considerable ability to bring her characters to life, and the adept use of dialogue and description, make this a highly recommended book."
Lawson successfully combines a very real sense of period, a vivd portrait of the lives of the Chinese workers who built the railway, and an exciting adventure.