Literacy resources | USA Regional A - M titles | Inquiry Unlimited

Chinese Exclusion and Japanese Relocation

Inquiry Unlimited's classroom application: Teaching American History


  1. Blakeslee, Ann R. A Different Kind of Hero. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1997. (143 pages) In 1881, twelve-year-old Renny, who resists his father's efforts to turn him into a rough, tough, brawling boy, earns the disapproval of the entire mining camp when he befriends a newly arrived Chinese boy.
  2. Bunting, Eve. So Far from the Sea. New York: Clarion Books, 1998. A Japanese American family goes back to visit the Manzanar camp where the father was interned for three and a half years.
  3. Chang, Heidi. Elaine and the Flying Frog. New York: Random House, 1991. (62 pages) Chinese American Elaine Chow feels like an outcast after moving to a small town in Iowa, until she shares a new friendship and a science project with a girl strongly interested in frogs.
  4. Chang, Kathleen. The Iron Moonhunter. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1977. (24 pages) While they work on the Central Pacific Railroad in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Chinese workers build an unusual railroad of their own.
  5. Chetin, Helen. Angel Island Prisoner, 1922. Berkeley, CA: New Seed Press, 1982. (31 pages) A young Chinese girl, her mother, and baby brother, immigrating to the United States in 1922, are detained on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay with thirty other Chinese women while awaiting permission to enter the mainland.
  6. Chu, Daniel and Samuel. Passage to the Golden Gate: A History of the Chinese in America to 1910. New York: Zenith Books, 1967.
  7. Coerr, Eleanor. Chang's Paper Pony. New York: HarperTrophy, 1993. (64 pages) In San Francisco during the 1850's gold rush, Chang, the son of Chinese immigrants, wants a pony but cannot afford one until his friend Big Pete finds a solution.
  8. Currier, Katrina Saltonstall. Kai's Journey to Gold Mountain. Tiburon, CA: Angel Island Association, 2005.
  9. Goldin, Barbara Diamond. Red Means Good Fortune: A Story of San Francisco's Chinatown. NY: Viking, 1994. (54 pages) Twelve-year-old Jin Mun, working for his father's laundry in San Francisco's Chinatown, is shocked to discover that one of his neighbors is a slave girl, forbidden to leave her house.
  10. Krensky, Stephen. The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994. (90 pages) In 1867, while staying with her father in a small California mining town, ten-year-old Winnie meets a Chinese boy close to her age and discovers the role of his people in completing the transcontinental railroad.
  11. Lee, Milly. Earthquake. New York: Frances Foster Books, 2001. (unpaged) A young Chinese-American girl and her family move their belongings from their home in Chinatown to the safety of Golden Gate Park during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
  12. Lee, Milly. Landed. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2006. (unpaged) After leaving his village in southeastern China, twelve-year-old Sun is held at Angel Island, San Francisco, before being released to join his father, a merchant living in the area. Includes historical notes.
  13. Lee, Milly. Nim and the War Effort. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1997. In her determination to prove that an American can win the contest for the war effort in WWII, Nim does something which leaves her Chinese grandfather both bewildered and proud.
  14. Look, Lenore. Love As Strong As Ginger. Atheneum, 1999. A Chinese American girl comes to realize how hard her grandmother works to fulfill her dreams when they spend a day together at the grandmother's job cracking crabs.
  15. McCunn, Ruthanne Lum. Pie Biter. Illus. by You-shan Tang. San Francisco, CA: Design Enterprises, 1983. A Chinese boy who comes to the United States to work on a railroad develops a fondness for pies that becomes legendary.
  16. Mochizuki, Ken. Baseball Saved Us. Lee & Low, 1993. (32 pages) "Shorty" and his family have been sent to a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. Even after the family returns home, baseball offers a way to overcome the misery that prejudice has caused.
  17. Mochizuki, Ken. Heroes. New York: Lee & Low Books, 1995. (unpaged) Japanese American Donnie, whose playmates insist he be the "bad guy" in their war games, calls on his reluctant father and uncle to help him get away from that role.
  18. Molnar-Fenton, Stephan. An Mei's Strange and Wondrous Journey. New York: DK Ink, 1998. (unp.)
  19. Namioka, Lensey. Yang the Second and Her Secret Admirers. Boston: Little Brown, 1998. (130 ps.)
  20. Namioka, Lensey. Yang, the Youngest and His Terrible Ear. NY: Dell, 1994. (134 ps.)
  21. Partridge, Elizabeth. Oranges on Golden Mountain. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 2001. (unp) When hard times fall on his family, Jo Lee is sent from China to San Francisco, where he helps his uncle fish and dreams of being reunited with his mother and sister.
  22. Pomeranc, Marion Hess. The American Wei. Morton Grove, Illinois: A. Whitman, 1998. (unpaged)
  23. Rappaport, Doreen. The Journey of Meng. Illus. by Yang Ming-Yi. New York: Dial, 1992.
  24. Rappaport, Doreen. The Long-Haired Girl: A Chinese Legend. Illus. by Yang Ming-Yi. New York: Dial, 1995.
  25. Reddix, Valerie. Dragon Kite of the Autumn Moon. Will Tad-Tin's wild dragon kite carry all his family's troubles away?
  26. Say, Allen. El Chino. Houghton Mifflin, 1990. (32 ps.) This is the story of Bill Wong, who defied stereotypes and became a famous bullfighter in Spain.
  27. Say, Allen. Grandfather's Journey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Company, 1993. A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for different countries.
  28. Shigekawa, Marlene. Blue Jay in the Desert. Chicago, Illinois: Polychrome Publishing, 1993. While living in a relocation camp during World War II, a young Japanese American boy receives a message of hope from his grandfather.
  29. Uchida, Yoshiko. The Bracelet. Philomel, (32 pages) Autobiographical account of the Japanese-American internment during World War II. Seven-year-old Emi tells of those forced to live in West Coast internment camps.
  30. Uchida, Yoshiko. The Invisible Thread. NY: Beech Tree Paperback, 1995. (136 pages) Children's author, Yoshiko Uchida, describes growing up in Berkeley, California, as a Nisei, second generation Japanese American, and her family's internment in a Nevada concentration camp during World War II.
  31. Uchida, Yoshiko. Journey to Topaz. NY: Scribner, 1971. (149 pages) After the Pearl Harbor attack an eleven-year-old Japanese-American girl and her family are forced to go to an aliens camp in Utah.
  32. Yee, Paul. Tales From Gold Mountain. NY: Macmillan, 1989. (64 ps.) Eight stories reflecting the optimism of the Chinese overcoming prejudice and adversity to build a place for themselves in North America.
  33. Yep, Laurence. The Traitor: Golden Mountain Chronicles, 1885. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. (310 pages) In 1885, a lonely illegitimate American boy and a lonely Chinese American boy develop an unlikely friendship in the midst of prejudices and racial tension in their coal mining town of Rock Springs, Wyoming.
  34. Yin. Brothers. New York: Philomel Books, 2006. (unpaged) Having arrived in San Francisco from China to work in his brother's store, Ming is lonely until an Irish boy befriends him.
  35. Yin. Coolies. New York: Philomel Books, 2001. (unpaged)


  1. Chin, Tung Pok and Chin, Winifred C. Paper Son: One Man's Story. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000. (147 ps.) [973.04Ch][NF]
  2. Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1994. (345 ps.) [1954 murder trial in an island community off the coast of Washington states that accuses Kabuo Miyomoto. An exploration of war, race, and the mysteries of human motivation][Fiction]
  3. Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki. The Legend of Fire Horse Woman. New York: Kensington Books, 2003. (329 ps.) [Manzanar camp in 1942 - three generations: Sayo, Hana, Terri]
  4. McCunn, Ruthanne Lum. Thousand Pieces of Gold: A Biographical Novel. Boston: Beacon Press, 1988. (308 ps.) [Polly Bemis]
  5. Mueller, Marnie. The Climate of the Country: A Novel. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1999. (309 ps.) [Tells the story of the Tule Lake Japanese American Segregation Camp from the unique insider view of a conscientious objector his wife, living and working in Tule Lake Camp in 1943.]
  6. Otsuka, Julie. When the Emperor Was Divine. New York: Knopf: Random House, 2002. (141 ps.) [1942 Berkeley, California - one family: woman, son, daughter, husband - Japanese heritage - Utah - disenfranchisement and prejudice]
  7. Pellegrino, Charles R. The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back. New York: Henry Holt, 2010. (367 ps.) [NF]
  8. Sato, Kiyo. Kiyo's Story: A Japanese-American Family's Quest for the American Dream. New York: Soho Press, 2009. (339 ps.) [Memoir of Sato's father emigrating from Japan in 1911, "picture brides" - building a home, cultivating a fruit farm in California; swept into the World War II Japanese internment camps.][NF]
  9. See, Lisa. Shanghai Girls: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2009. (314 ps.) ["paper son" wives - 1930s]
  10. Siu, Paul C. P. (Paul Chan Pang). The Chinese Laundryman: A Study of Social Isolation. New York: New York University Press, 1987. (311 ps.) [331.625] [NF]


  1. Alonso, Karen. Korematsu v. United States: Japanese-American Internment Camps. Springfield, NJ: Enslow, 1998. (128 pages)
  2. Conrat, Maisie. Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans. San Francisco: California Historical Society, 1972. (120 pages)
  3. Hamanaka, Sheila. The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism, and Renewal. New York: Orchard Books, 1990. (39 pages)
  4. Martin, Michael. Chinese Americans. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. (112 pages)
  5. Meltzer, Milton. The Chinese Americans. New York: Crowell, 1980. (181 pages)
  6. Thornton, Jeremy. The Gold Rush: Chinese Immigrants Come to America (1848-1882). New York: PowerKids Press, 2004. (24 pages)
  7. Tunnell, Michael. The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese-American Internment Camp. New York: Holiday House, 1996. (74 pages)
  8. Welch, Catherine. Children of the Relocation Camps. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2000. (48 pages)
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