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Dragon Road: Golden Mountain Chronicles: 1939    by Laurence Yep order for
Dragon Road
by Laurence Yep
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2010 (2010)

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Inspired by an actual professional basketball team that barnstormed throughout the west in the late 1930s, this novel for young adults ten years of age and older features two Chinese-American youths who follow their dream of playing professional sports.

With the Great Depression in full swing, Calvin 'Flash' Chin and his friend Barney Young can't find jobs so they seize upon the opportunity to make $100 a month playing for the Dragons, an all Chinese basketball team who plays any and all comers (amateurs or pros) in the towns they visit.

Calvin quickly emerges as the star of the team but that creates a problem between the squad's coach and former marquee player and the owner who wants to highlight Calvin in the Dragon's publicity.

The headstrong youth will have to decide whether being part of the team is more important than being a prima donna. As they travel around the country both Calvin and his friend learn a lot about human nature as they meet a wide variety of individuals. The team's internal power struggle also forces Calvin to grow up and take more responsibility for his actions.

Part of the author's Golden Mountain Chronicles that follow the adventures of the Young family, Dragon Road is not only an engrossing story but it is filled also with historical material that chronicles life in San Francisco's Chinatown and in small western communities during the Great Depression.

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