Blood and Iron: Building the Railway is the first book in the I Am Canada series by Scholastic. The book was written by Paul Yee. It was published in September 2010 with Hugh Brewster's Prisoner of Dieppe.


"Dedicated to Wong Hau-hon, from Sun-wui county, Guangdong province, member of Gang 161 on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1882."

Book description

"Heavy rocks dropped from the roof of the tunnel. They just missed Wong Brother and me. But other men were not so lucky. A slab of rock flattened one Red Beard driller; folded him over like a piece of paper. Another had his head cracked open. Their Chinese helper died, too, crushed under several boulders. I saw so much blood that I threw up over and over. We did not pull out their bodies right away, worrying about falling rocks. Finally we went in, fearful that the slightest sound would bring down more rocks.
Heen is younger than most Chinese workers when he travels to Canada to help build the railway there. He has no choice, for his father's and grandfather's gambling debts spell ruin for his family. Despite his age, he must work as hard as the other men... and face the same dangers.

"De gros rochers sont tombés du plafond du tunnel. Ils nous ont manqués de justesse, Frère Wong et moi. Mais d'autres n'ont pas eu autant de chance. Une grosse plaque de roc a écrasé un des Barbes rousses préposés au forage et l'a aplati comme une feuille de papier ! Un autre barbe rousse a eu le crâne fendu en deux. Leur aide chinois est mort, lui aussi, écrasé par de gros rocher. J'ai vu tant de sang et d'horreur que j'ai vomi à plusieurs reprises.
Heen figure parmi les plus jeunes Chinois à participer à la construction du chemin de fer canadien. Il n'a pas le choix de travailler, car son père et son grand-père ont contracté des dettes de jeu qui ont complètement ruiné sa famille. Malgré son jeune âge, il doit travailler aussi fort que les autres hommes... et faire face aux mêmes dangers.



Main article: List of Blood and Iron characters


Main article: Paul Yee



"The publisher wishes to thank W. Peter Ward and Robert Turner for sharing their historical expertise and Barbara Hehner for her careful checking of the factual details."


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