Ghost Train (1996)
Left behind in China by her father, who has gone to North America to find work,Choon-yi has made her living by selling her paintings in the market. When her father writes one day and asks her to join him, she joyously sets off, only to discover that he has been killed.
Choon-yi sees the giant train engines that her father died for, and she tries to paint them. But it takes a trip on a train and mysterious encounters in the middle of the night to make her art come alive. Ghostly, magical and yet redeeming, this tale is superbly illustrated by Harvey Chan.
- Awarded 1996 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature (Text)
- Awarded 1997 Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award (Picture Books)
- Shortlisted: Toronto IODE Book Award, 1997
Selected Excerpts from Reviews
"...illustrated with highly expressive oil paintings that complement the story in all of its aspects, ranging from the somber to the surreal."
--Quill and Quire
"...dark, glowing oil paintings illustrate a moving fantasy about the Chinese workmen who died far from home building the railroad through the mountains of North America."
"...the best kind of historical storytelling for young people, using one dramatic incident to illuminate in human terms a whole episode in Canada's past."
CITY Parent, 1996
".,..beautiful paintings give the tale fiery life."
--Owl Canadian Family, 1996
"...story is a sad and fantastic one that offers young readers a rarely told chapter of U.S. history."
"...Chan's dark paintings, highlighted with eerie oranges and demonic reds, pulsate with emotion and power. Like Yee's text, Chan's paintings do not simply recount a sad episode from our country's past. They make us feel the opposing energies and witness the triumph of cultural spirit achieved through art."
--Vancouver Sun, 1997