Double Luck: Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan

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Double Luck is the autobiography of Chi Fa, an orphaned boy who grew up in Communist China.  Chi Fa lived with different relatives before living with his brother in Shanghai.  He begged for a living before moving to Taiwan to live with an aunt and serving in the army there.  Chi Fa was only able to attend school for one year as a child.  In 1969, Chi Fa fulfilled his dream of immigrating to the United States.  

Double Luck is a chapter book for middle and high schoolers.  It can easily relate to a study of Chinese history, as well as being a true story about a boy the same age as students.  The themes of overcoming adversity in a real setting are another great part of this story.  This is another book that students could use to make timelines to map out the main character’s journey.

Fa C.  (2000).  Double luck: Memoirs of a chinese orphan.  New York: Holiday House.

Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House

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Jim Limber Davis is the biography of a black boy rescued from his cruel guardian by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.  Jim was registered as a free black child by Davis and lived happily with the Davis family during the Civil War.  After the Civil War ended, Davis was arrested and Jim was sent to the Northern states as an example of the evils of slavery.  Jim tried to argue that Davis had not enslaved him, but no one believed him.  When Davis was released from prison, Jim had disappeared and was never heard from again.  To this day, no one knows what became of Jim.

Jim Limber Davis is a picture book for second, third, and fourth graders.  The illustrations are paintings that give a accurate of the Civil War era.  This book would go well with a Civil War unit, especially since it includes both the Union and Confederacy in the story.  I would break down reading this story into at least two days to include mini-lessons on slavery and Jefferson Davis.

Pittman, R.  (2007).  Jim limber davis: A black orphan in the confederate white house.  Gretna: Pelican Publishing.