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Girl in Translation: A Teacher Toolkit   Tags: chinese americans, girl in translation, immigration, labor  

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016 URL: http://resources.primarysource.org/girlintranslation Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Biography

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Daughter of Heaven: A Memoir with Earthly Recipes - Leslie Li
Li chronicles incidents in her life from her 1950s childhood to her grandmother Nai-Nai's centenary in Guilin, China, in the 1980s. The essays lyrically show the tension in Li's family between her father and mother, between herself and her father, and most of all, between Li's American ways and her Chinese history.

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Thousand Pieces of Gold - Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Biographical novel based on life of Lalu Nathoy, later known as Polly Bemis, who was sold in China in 1871 to a slave merchant bound for America.

 

Immigration in U.S. History

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Imagining America: Stories from the Promised Land - Wesley Brown and Amy Ling

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"They Take Our Jobs!": And 20 Other Myths about Immigration - Aviva Chomsky

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Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life - Roger Daniels

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Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882 - Roger Daniels

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Immigrant Voices: New Lives in America, 1773-1986 - Thomas Dublin

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From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration - Nancy Foner

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In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration - Nancy Foner

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Immigration and American Diversity: A Social and Cultural History - Donna R. Gabaccia

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Children of Immigration - Carola Suarez-Orozco

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Learning in a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society - Carola Suarez-Orozco

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A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America - Ronald Takaki

 

Non Fiction about the Chinese/Chinese American Experience

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Driven Out: The Forgotten War against Chinese Americans - Jean Pfaelzer

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Claiming America: Constructing Chinese American Identities During the Exclusion Era - edited by K. Scott Wong and Sucheng Chan

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Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act - Andrew Gyory

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New York City's Chinese Community - Josephine Tsui Yueh Lee

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In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America - Charles J. McClain

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Chinese American Portraits: Personal Histories, 1828-1988 - Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Collection of historic photos, with 17 biographical essays on Chinese American families.

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San Francisco's Chinatown - Judy Yung

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Unbound Feet: A Social History of Women in San Francisco - Judy Yung

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Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants to Angel Island, 1910-1940 - edited by Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, Judy Yung

 

Films

Ancestors in the Americas. Center for Educational Telecommunications, 1998.
A three-part series from PBS examining the history of Asians in America. For historical documents, interviews, viewer's guides, and more resources visit the Ancestors in the Americas website.

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience. PBS, 2003.
A three-part series that explores the history of Chinese immigration to the United States. Part 1: Gold Mountain Dreams; Part 2: Between Two Worlds; Part 3: No Turning Back. The PBS companion website includes a timeline, eyewitness accounts, and a viewer's guide.

Carved in Silence. San Francisco: Cross Current Media, 1992, 1987.
By means of historic footage plus dramatized reenactments, traces the history of Chinese immigration to the United States, especially the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 which resulted in the detention of Chinese immigrants at the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay. Parts filmed at Angel Island State Park.

Who Killed Vincent Chin? New York: Filmakers Library, 1988.
Documentary on racism in working-class America focuses on the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American, in a Detroit bar. Interweaves the murder with social concerns and questions about justice.

 

Vincent Who?

Vincent Who? explores how the murder of Vincent Chin continues to have meaning to society today, as well as how the hate crime remains unknown or forgotten in many Americans' minds. Visit the Vincent Who? documentary website for additional video interviews, further resources, and a timeline of the case.

 

Child Labor and Exploitative Labor Practices

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Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy - Kevin Bales

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Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor - Russell Freedman, Lewis Hine

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No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade, and the Rights of Garment Workers - Andrew Ross

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Child Labor: A Global View - Cathryne L. Schmitz, Elizabeth K. Collardey, Deborah Larson

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Global Investigation of Child Labor: Case Studies from India, Uganda, and the United States - Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE)
A curriculum unit developed by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). For high school students.

 

Made in L.A.

This documentary follows three Latina immigrants in the 21st century as they work in Los Angeles sweatshops and fight for workers' rights. Visit the PBS website for a lesson plan, reading list, interviews, and further resources.

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Adult Fiction

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Girl in Translation - Jean Kwok

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Typical American - Gish Jen

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China Boy - Gus Lee
Kai Ting, a young Chinese-American boy adjusting to life in San Francisco after the death of his mother, must face cultural differences in his own family when his father takes a new American wife.

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Shanghai Girls: A Novel - Lisa See
Two sisters growing up in Shanghai in the 1930s are sent to Los Angeles to marry. A novel about immigration, culture, and sisterhood.

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The Bonesetter's Daughter - Amy Tan
Set in contemporary San Francisco and in the Chinese village where Peking Man is being unearthed, this is the story of the relationship of a mother and daughter and the mystery of her mother's past.

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American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang
Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.

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