Project Description


Good Fortune

My Journey to Gold Mountain

by Li Keng Wong

In this dramatic memoir of early-twentieth century immigration, the author shares her family’s journey from rural China to a new life in California.

In 1933, seven-year-old Li Keng’s life changed forever. Her father decided to bring his family from a small village in southern China to California. Getting to America was not easy. Getting past America’s strict anti-Chinese immigration laws was even more difficult. To do so, the family had to keep secrets and offer well-rehearsed lies. Life in America during the Great Depression brought many exciting surprises as well as a few disappointments. Hunger, poverty, police raids, frequent moves, and the occasional sting of racism were a part of everyday life, but slowly Li Keng and her family found stability and a true home in “Gold Mountain.”

An author’s note contains photos and an update on her family. The book contains information on Angel Island and its significance in history as well as an explanation of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Hardcover: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-367-2
Total Pages: 144
Size: 6 x 8 1/2
Language: English
Paperback: $8.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-464-8
Total Pages: 144
Size: 6 x 8 1/2
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-874-5
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this E-book through the following vendors:

Baker & Taylor
Barnes & Noble
Recorded Books

Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 106508
AR Reading Level: 4.5
AR Points: 4

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: U
F&P Grade: 5

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 3.5
Reading Counts Points: 7
Reading Counts Interest Level: 3-5


“…leave[s] readers with a sense of the richness of the immigrant experience.” ―School Library Journal

“Wong’s memoir touchingly reminds us how much we take for granted…[an] honest and moving book.” ―The Boston Globe

“Li Keng Wong’s personal account of her journey to America adds a much needed additional chapter to America’s immigration narrative. Her lively story helps illustrate immigration from a personal perspective and shares rich details of life in China and in America during the 1930s.” ―Erika Gee, Director of Education, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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“…the vivid cultural details…are fascinating, whether Wong is describing her mother’s traditional wedding or the family’s first apartment in California, where her father coped with the Depression by running a gambling business in the family’s front room. The plain words leave room for readers to imagine their own emotional responses…” ―Booklist

“I highly recommend this book.” ―New York Amsterdam News

“…likable and believable characters…” ―School Library Journal

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Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―NCSS/CBC 2007

Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education 2007

California Collections (middle school) ―California Readers 2007

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (middle school / junior high) ―Kansas National Education Association 2007

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Honorary Mention Best Book Award ―Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) 2006-2007

William Allen White Children’s Book Awards Master List (nominee) ―Emporia State University 2008-2009

Emphasis on Reading Program (nominee, grades 7-8) ―Alabama Department of Education 2007-2008

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Meet the Author

Li Keng Wong was an elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Bay area for more than thirty-five years. She was featured in the Disney documentary “American Tapestry.” She lives in California.