Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 133
Themes: Love, family, disaster
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Pub Date: 01/Mar/2012
Bookmark and Share
Set in San Francisco's Chinatown before and after 1906, this novel portrays a young Jackson Leong coping with the ghost of his brother who died in the earthquake, as well as the mysterious ghost of a young woman. Jackson must find out the reasons why the ghosts are haunting the world of the living. If he fails, his family will face disgrace and ruin.

Resource Links
"Set in the rich landscape of San Francisco's Chinatown in the early 1900s, the history and diverse culture of the Chinese-American population are vividly brought to life for the reader and are integral to the story. The characters are complex, believable, and multi layered and refuse to paint a stereotype of Chinese-Americans...Yee has created another rich North American/ Chinese ghost story to thrill his readers."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Yee's two new books continue the wonderful work exhibited in his more than 20 previous books-illuminating the Chinese immigrant experience in North America...The Secret Keepers is a treasure chest of excellent historical fiction. In the foreground, life-like characters wrestle with the same survival problems today's readers might face; in the background, an uncompromised, perfect portrayal of the past. Yee's training as an archivist gives him the tools to recreate San Francisco's Chinatown at the time of the great earthquake. He lightly balances the information part of the setting against an energetic story."
CM Magazine
"Readers of mystery books will enjoy the ghosts and supernatural elements in this story and solving the mystery of identity of the ghost girl in the blue Chinese smock. Those who like historical fiction will enjoy learning about various aspects and traditions of Chinese culture a century ago. And woven into both of these is Yee's story of Jackson who overcomes adversity, keeps his family from disgrace, and finally becomes a capable and admirable young man by the end of the novel. Highly Recommended."
"The ghostly mysteries are tense as the community struggles to recover from the disaster. Best of all are the family secrets, with surprising revelations until the very end."
School Library Journal
"Yee keeps the action brisk...[and] readers will still be swept along in the story...This fast-moving title will be popular among reluctant readers."
Historical Novel Society
"[Yee] presents this tension-laden turn-of-the-century story of family secrets and cover-up with drama and suspense, an ideal formula for captivating young and reluctant readers. With a quickstep pace and unexpected twists, this is a compelling read that will engage all ages."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2011 | Commended
White Ravens List selection  | 2012 | Commended

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels