Awards and honors for The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball


BestBookAwards Winner 002

Washington State Book Award, 2018 finalist in Books for Middle Grade Readers category.

 Freeman award memeFreeman Book Award: 2017 Winner, Young Adult/High School Literature about East and Southeast Asia 

USA Best Book Award: 2017 Winner for Children's Fiction

Moonbeam Children's Book Award 2017: Gold in Pre-Teen Fiction: Historical/Multicultural

Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award, 2018: Gold, Multicultural Fiction-Juvenile, Young Adult




Moonbeam awardIBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, 2018: silver award, Young Reader: Fiction, 8-12 years

Foreword Indies, 2018: finalist, Children's/Juvenile Fiction

IPPY goldReader Views Reviewers Choice Award, 2018, Teen, age 12 to 16, Honorable Mention

Review in VOYA magazine, August 3, 2017

School Library Journal article, October 3, 2017: Back to the Future: A Trip Back in Time Can Help Students Embrace Other Cultures




Featured in School Library Journal's Be-Tween online magazine, October 2017

Top Ten Chapter Books to learn about Chinese culture by Dori Jones Yang on Pragmatic Mom

Kids' Book Buzz ran an article by Dori called "Writing from Other Cultural Perspectives Encourages Empathy and Understanding."

Resources for Research

In English, the best sources about the Chinese Educational Mission are the following:

  • Lee, Yan Phou. When I Was a Boy in China. First published 1887 by D. Lothrop Company. Reprinted from the collections of the University of California Libraries.
  • LaFargue, Thomas E. China’s First Hundred: Educational Mission Students in the United States, 1872–1881. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1987. First published 1942 by Washington State College Press.
  • Leibovitz, Liel, and Matthew Miller. Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization. New York: W. W. Norton, 2012.
  • Rhoads, Edward J. M. Stepping Forth into the World: The Chinese Educational Mission to the United States, 1872–81. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011.
  • Yung, Wing. My Life in China and America. Hong Kong: Earnshaw Books, 2007. First published 1909 by Henry Holt.
  •, a website set up by some descendants of the Chinese Educational Mission scholars.

What Kids Say about The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball

This story shows what it feels like to move to a different country, and how frustrating it is when you have limited language skills. It illustrates the contrasts between the American and Chinese cultures—and how conflicted you can feel when two cultures collide and you’re caught in the middle."      —Anna X., age 11, a descendant of one of the 120 scholars from the Chinese Educational Mission

Join Woo Ka-Leong and Woo Ka-Sun on their adventure in Connecticut, living with an American family far away from their home in China. They were very timid at first but slowly accustomed to American culture. However, slowly Ka-Sun becomes angry, depressed, and hateful because he thinks that Americans are beneath him. The rest of the story is very suspenseful, and it has twists sometimes. Dori Jones Yang beautifully portrays the Chinese ambition to learn about technological advances in American machinery and transportation at the time and take them back to modernize China through this book. Wanna know more? Read and find out!       —Arun S.6-boys-for-web

The author of this book was really able to make this story sound like it was real. Something that stood out to me was how Leon’s brother changed within the book. He went from a studious, hardworking man, to a sort of crazy person.      —Ethan T.

From an engineer to a baseball player, The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball shows that kids can pursue whatever dream. An inspiring and exciting novel about two boys in America, learning important lessons along the way. A fantastic book!      —Isabel P.

When Ka-Leong travels to America on the Chinese Educational Mission, he is convinced he will not like it. Jeering boys, strange people, and an unknown culture surrounds him. But things change, and people do to. Soon ‘Leon’ is drawn by the American ways of life, as well as making a possible new friend. However, as ‘Leon’ gets closer to understanding American culture, his elder brother Ka-Sun seems to be getting farther away. Stricken by grief and homesickness, Ka-Sun struggles with the ways of Americans. A change has happened inside his brother, and a dark one too. Where was his old Ka-Sun? Dori Jones Yang’s new book, The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball, is stirring and heartwarming, and I highly recommend it.      —Clara M.

I couldn't put this book down because it was captivating with one event unfolding after another. In this story, Dori Jones Yang illustrated the relationship between a boy and his foster family. This relationship changed through many phases as time went on. —Lucien D.

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball is a page turning story about, new beginnings, family, and loyalty. The fantastic wording of author Dori Jones Yang brings you into the world of Leon, the choices he has to make and the ever recurring thought of where you belong.      —Julia M.

This is a well-rounded book that is brilliant in every way possible. I wouldn't mind staying in this world that Dori Jones Yang has created.     —Stephanie V. 

The storyline focuses less on baseball than the title would lead you to believe. There is enough baseball included if you are a baseball fan, but not too much if you are not. I liked this book because it was very engaging. I learned a lot about Chinese culture, and as a younger brother, I could relate to brothers being brothers.  “The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball” by Dori Jones Yang was very well written, and I would recommend it to everyone!     --  Reviewed by Marten Weldon, age 12, for Reader Views on Sept. 17, 2017. It was published on