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July 6, 2017
Inside Out and Back Again
July 25, 2017

Dragon’s Gate

Quick Glance



This is the total number of incidents in this 335 pages book.

*As personal standards vary, please see the breakdown to determine what matters to you.

Author: Laurence Yep
Key Words: Fiction, China, American Railroad, Newbery Honor, Adventure, Teen, Young Adult

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Book Description:

In 1867, Otter travels from Three Willows Village in China to California -- the Land of the Golden Mountain. There he will join his father and uncle.

In spite of the presence of family, Otter is a stranger among the other Chinese in this new land. And where he expected to see a land of goldfields, he sees only vast, cold whiteness. But Otter's dream is to learn all he can, take the technology back to the Middle Kingdom, and free China from the Manchu invaders.

Otter and the others board a machine that will change his life -- a train for which he would open the Dragon's Gate.


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Children's Bad Words

Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 9 Incidents

Shut up, tarnation, darn, hang it all, the devil take you, what in blazes

Name Calling - 31 Incidents

You little pig, ingrate, traitor, you scum. old turtle, demon, hicks, meatball (called repeatedly throughout book), tiger snacks, the wretched cur, s*cker’s, donkey, Prince Useless, a regular idiot, misfits. you little rat, tardy ingrates, fool (repeated several times throughout the book), stupid, you filthy little heathen, you young guttersnipe, jack*ss, brigands, lazy monkey, “You’re an idiot and worse than an idiot. You’re a jellyfish, too.”, poor devils. old bull, the devil, selfish brat, hoodlums (used several times throughout), idiots

Scatological Terms - 1 Incident

Bl**dy (as in lots of blood)

Religious Profanities - 6 Incidents

Thank Heaven, what in God’s creation, heaven forbid, for Heaven’s sake, for the love of God

Religious & Supernatural - 9 Incidents

“The astrologers say you were born in the hour of fire on the day of fire in the month of fire, so you were bound to join my family, because we’ve been rebels and troublemakers for seven generations.”

Superstitious people believed a man found gold by magic.

Mentions Muslims.

References Incarnation.

Mentions a dragon and a spirit in the gate.

A boy thinks about “those tableaux in the temples.”

A boy silently “prays” to his parents.

A father and son believe a man’s ghost resides in the mountain and that they must find his body to put the spirit at rest.

A boy thinks his dead uncle sent him a dream.

Romance Related - 6 Incidents

“They’re all love letters from your sweethearts, so I threw them away.”

A man sings a love song.

A man’s pants are not zipped.

“Uncle Foxfire stripped to the buff without any sign of self-consciousness.” Many other men do the same, bathing. When a boy refuses, the men force him to strip and bath in their presence.

A man strips his clothes off.

A man takes off his shirt.

Violence - 2 Incidents

A boy accidentally kills a man.

Describes a man who needs an amputation.

Attitudes/Disobedience - 10 Incidents

A boy is known to be a bully and mocks a boy in town.

A boy sulks about how he’s not regarded as anyone of importance.

A boy lies about where he goes. His father told him not to hang around a certain boy but he does.

A boy brags about how his teacher “wore out three bamboo sticks switching me.”

A man and a boy get into a fight - partly due to racial prejudice.

“It didn’t matter what our fathers thought.”

A man and a boy get into a fist fight.

When a father asks his son whether he disobeyed, the son replies he had no choice.

A boy had been hiding food for himself and not sharing with his starving father, uncle and other crew members.

A boy gets angry and yells at his uncle.

Conversation Topics - 11 Incidents

Drugs, opium in particular, are mentioned negatively and frequently in the book.

Whiskey, alcoholic beverages and drunks are mentioned.

A boy is told: ‘“You can’t let other people live your life for you,” he warned me. I stared at him in puzzlement. Of course you could. Everybody did. You listened to your parents and your parents listened to the clan elders and the clan elders obeyed the wishes of the dead…’

A side character’s dad is a drunk and not a good father figure.

Uses the descriptive phrase: “The metallic song became the cold, hard laughter of a ghost in hell.”

A man admits he’s never set people’s perception of him right - so they have a false impression of him. There’s a lengthy discussion and is referenced throughout the book.

Men place a bets and gamble.

“You’re young yet, so things are either black or white, and there’s no such color as gray. When you get to be my age, you’ll realize that you can’t set the world on fire right away.”

“Ma loved her whiskey even more than Da, and she took it out on me when there was none in the house.”

“Kilroy stared at me as if I were a dog that had just done something on him.”

A boy realizes that his uncle sacrificed himself for him and the rest of the camp. The boy thinks about going back to try to save him but assumes his uncle would want him to carry on with the bigger task of rescuing the camp.

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