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An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-Ling (Dear Canada)
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An Ocean Apart: The Gold Mountain Diary of Chin Mei-Ling (Dear Canada)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  577 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Mei-ling lives with her father in Vancouver, but her mother and baby brother are still in China. Mei-ling works after school, and her father holds down several jobs, in a frantic effort to come up with the head tax that will allow her mother and brother to come to Canada. They must have that money before the Exclusion Act bars any more Chinese from immigrating. Mei-ling ca ...more
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Scholastic Canada
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(showing 1-30)
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May 17, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
Shelves: cant-decide
I loved this book because it's about a young chinese girl in foreign lands with only her father who doesn't get her. She's surrounded by bad influences but pulls through and makes the best of everything wwhile she can and works hard to become a doctor which she may or may not become... hint hint... ;) I love this story but it's kind of sad and made me want to cry because I learned how girls my age and younger had to struggle so hard and I don't have to do anything in comparison to that!
May 30, 2008 Pipitta rated it liked it
Sebetulnya ingin kasih 3,5 bintang buat buku ini. Tapi karena ga bisa ya udah deh 3 bintang aja. Buku ini menarik karena gw jadi sedikit tau sejarah para imigran Cina di Kanada tahun 1900-an. Sebagian besar dari mereka menetap di Provinsi British Columbia, Vancouver. Awalnya, mereka dipekerjakan sebagai buruh rel kereta api, dan saat proyek itu selesai mereka harus kembali berjuang mencari pekerjaan baru sebagai buruh pemasang kabel telegram, buruh pengalengan ikan, pelayan rumah tangga, berdaga ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Nov 30, 2014 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it
A fine entry into the Dear Canada series. This author, Gillian Chan, is new to me so I didn't know what to expect in regards to the writing but was pleasantly pleased to find an engaging, well-written story. This "diary" is not about a particular incident but focuses in on the Chinese experience in Canada post World War I. This is a time when the country had immigration laws imposed upon the Chinese in particular so that while it had an influx of men, who had worked on the railway in the previou ...more
Dec 29, 2012 Maia rated it liked it
A good description of life back then for a young Chinese girl dealing with racism and the fear of not being able to see her mother and brother again. Really touched my heart because of the fact that I am Chinese and I also have to do with some of the racist 'jokes' that are mentioned in the book. Overall it was a wonderful story but nothing truly exciting happened. Everything was in a way expected and nothing surprising.
Jan 20, 2014 Brianna rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Chin Mei-ling and her father set foot in Canada, and are collecting money to let the rest of their family come over to Canada, from China, and they are having trouble with it. They must get that money before the rest of their family can come, but what if they can't get that money? What if it is too late?
Sep 13, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: U13
Shelves: u13, owned
An okay "Dear Canada" book that I felt could have been better...even when I was younger, I found it lacking, and was not a fan of the story line. It did not seem complete, and it felt repeated.
However, not too bad, and overall another "Dear Canada" book to put as "read".
Oct 08, 2007 Nika rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!!!
I loved this book! It is about a poor chinese girl who immigrated to canada with her dad and is trying to make enough money to send her mother and little brother to Canada too, but only makes a few cents a day. I hope you read and enjoy this book!
Mar 11, 2008 Ocean rated it liked it
this book is good. It is a little girls diary and it is
verry interesting.
May 06, 2008 Katrina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-faves
Love it!
Have it!
It is a good book!
Jongwoo Park
Apr 14, 2016 Jongwoo Park rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: My classmates
Shelves: en11b
Book Overview
An Ocean Apart by Gillian Chan, is a diary of a girl named Chin Mei-ling (Mei for short). Mei is a Chinese girl who immigrated to Canada with her Baba when she was young. Unfortunately, her Ma and her brother could not come along because of the expensive head taxes, which automatically sets a goal for Mei and Baba, which is to reunite the family in Canada. In order for this goal to be achieved, they have to save up great amount of money. Baba works at his friend, Wong Bak’s restaura
Apr 06, 2013 Georgia rated it really liked it
In Vancouver's Chinatown in the year 1922, life is difficult for many. The population is largely bachelor, all though some still have families back in China. On of the people who live in Chinatown is eleven year old Chin Mei-Ling, and she lives with her father who's Desperately trying to get Mei-Ling's mother and baby brother who are living overseas in China, to come to Canada. But the government has issued a five hundred dollar head tax on all Chinese immigrants. Mei's father holds down several ...more
Meaghan Steeves
Sep 19, 2016 Meaghan Steeves rated it it was amazing
I love this story, it's so beautiful.
Jenna Leigh
Jun 03, 2013 Jenna Leigh rated it liked it
This book was extremely emotional to read. I've always been interested in stories of European immigration, because my grandparents actually immigrated from Northern Ireland in the '50s, so it's a part of my history. However, I wasn't as familiar with what it was like for the Chinese immigrants who came to our country. I was so ashamed to learn about the horrible things our government did to limit the immigrants from coming over from China. The terrible effects of the Chinese Immigration Acts of ...more
Jun 06, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it
This book was pretty good! My younger sister has liked the Dear Canada series for a long time, and reading this book, I can see why. I felt like the book was culturally sensitive without shying away from serious issues like discrimination, poverty and racism, and Canada's diversity problems. The main character, Mei, is not fearless or adventurous but had an enduring spirit that deals with every high and low with more grace than any 12 year old might be expected to have. I'd love to read more of ...more
Jun 24, 2012 Shanelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read about Canadian history
Another book in the Dear Canada series which provides the readers with information about Canada's history. An Ocean Apart provides the readers with a sense of what it was like for the Chinese people who were living in Canada during the 1920s and later. This book is repetitive and therefore harder for the reader to take interest in. However, it is full of information on Canada's history and still worth reading.
Jan 06, 2012 Molly added it
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
Nov 03, 2011 Jaren rated it liked it
I thought the story of Chin was cute and saddening. And even though the story was intended for younger audiences, I enjoyed learning about the lifestyle in the time period.

In the end, I really like how Chin wrote about ten years later to say that her family was finally able to come to Canada and I found that very cute.

I give it 3.5/5 stars.
Jennifer Wilson
Oct 21, 2010 Jennifer Wilson rated it really liked it
This is a great book in the Dear Canada series. I love the Dear America and Dear Canada series, and this book did not disappoint. I couldn't quit thinking about it once I finished it and will definately be one of the ones I remember most in the series.
Feb 16, 2016 Shanelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Canada's history
I really enjoyed reading this book as I am always learning more and more about Canada's history from this series. The main character in this book, Chin Mei-ling, is very hard working and her story will be sure to inspire.
Oct 04, 2011 Renae rated it really liked it
The saddest piece of history I've read in a very long time. The story of Canada's Exclusion Act and its effect on thousands of Chinese families was new for me. It was hard to imagine that some families were kept apart for 30 years as a result.

A strong addition to the Dear Canada series.
Aug 18, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I have always been interested in this time period. This book really shows young people what the life of Chinese immigrants was like.
Lilly Thompson
Feb 19, 2016 Lilly Thompson rated it really liked it
Shelves: canada, fiction, teen, children
there's alot of information but you get submerged into the culter and get to walk a day (ok, well, a few days) in the character's shoes
Sep 18, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I bawled my eyes out. The book is a decent look into the narrator's life, and I had so many feelings for this little girl in the story and her family. It truly touched my heart.
Aug 03, 2016 Veronica rated it really liked it
I found this series to be a very good way for kids to learn about the past. My son is interested but the majority of the books in the series seem to have girls as the main character.
Nadia Soucy
Nadia Soucy rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2016
Emily rated it it was ok
Feb 15, 2013
Kkenny rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2014
Kelsey rated it liked it
May 21, 2008
Margaret Curry
Margaret Curry rated it it was ok
Apr 24, 2016
Marisa Matvij
Marisa Matvij rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2014
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I am English by birth, Canadian by choice. I live in Dundas, Ontario, with my husband and sometimes my son (he goes to boarding school, and no, it's his choice, not because he is a bad boy!)

I love history, especially anything to do with Norse history and Vikings. Researching any of my historical novels is my idea of fun. I am currently researching the fall of Hong Kong in 1941 to write a book in S
More about Gillian Chan...

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