“As I read this story, I was continually amazed about what those boys went through not only in traveling to the States but in adjusting to life, education, and customs here.”
―Kirby Larson, author of Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky
"Through the eyes of the ever curious "Leon" (Woo Ka-Leong), America is a play of both dazzling light and layered shadows. The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball turns our assumptions of America, and the Chinese impact on our history, upside down. A riveting and revealing story for the ages."
―Conrad Wesselhoeft, author of Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly
"A smart, authentic, and engaging look at the Chinese experience in America through the eyes of an adventurous and loyal boy who journeys into the sometimes welcoming, often hostile environment that was nineteenth-century America. You’ll be drawn in by the absorbing history (which is little-known but true) but stay for the characters―and the story that brings them to life."
―David Patneaude, author of Thin Wood Walls
"Set against the backdrop of the true story of 120 Chinese students sent to New England by their government to study, Dori follows the lives of Woo Ka-Leong (Leon) and his brother Woo Ka-Sun (Carson), their time with the Swann family of Suffield, Connecticut, and their conquest of baseball in a thoroughly satisfying book that will teach young readers about the Chinese, and to see their own culture through foreign eyes.”
―Scott D. Seligman, author of Tong Wars and The First Chinese American
"The story shows what it feels like to move to a different country, and how frustrating it is when you have limited language skills. It illustrates the contrasts between the American and Chinese cultures―and how conflicted you can feel when two cultures collide and you’re caught in the middle."
―Anna X., age 11, Mercer Island, WA, descendant of one of the 120 scholars from the Chinese Educational Mission
"The much-published Dori Jones Yang, in writing this novel, has drawn on historical accounts of the 1870’s Chines Educational Mission, as well as her own extended residence in China as a foreign correspondent. She knows whereof she writes."
―Edward Rhoads, author of Stepping Forth into the World: The Chinese Educational Mission to the United States, 1872-81
"My great grandfather, Wen Bingzhong, was one of the 'First 100' and I often wondered about his experiences in America. This was a fascinating period in modern Chinese history, and Dori Jones Yang has written a story which describes how this group of young Chinese males might have felt."
―Martin Tang, retired chairman, Asia, Spencer Stuart & Associates
"Although the book takes place in 1876, the conflicts and issues raised are completely modern and relevant today as communities wrestle with the integration of traditional values and changes in technology, job requirements, and evolving social mores. As Dori Jones Yang brings these characters to life, they spark lots of thought-provoking questions – fantastic for school or home."
―Nancy Kennan, mother of a middle schooler, avid reader of historical fiction, and investment banker in New York City
"It is 1875. Imagine you are an 11-year-old Chinese boy who has been sent to the United States by your government to gain an American education. You encounter strange customs, confusing values, and many new ways to get into trouble. In this powerful novel, Dori Jones Yang explores cultural differences and ways of responding to them. Her deep insights and the compelling plot make this a book students will enjoy and then recall as they face cross-cultural experiences of their own."
―Mary Hammond Bernson, Director, East Asia Resource Center, University of Washington