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Mamie Tape Fights to go to School

“An inspiring portrayal of the determination

to enact positive change.” 


Meet Mamie Tape, an 8-year-old Chinese American girl who fought for the right to attend school in San Francisco in the 1880s. Follow Mamie's brave steps and discover the poignant history of her California Supreme Court case Tape v. Hurley.


Mamie’s mom always reminded her a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So when Mamie wanted to go to school, even though Chinese children weren’t allowed, she took her first step and showed up anyway. When she was turned away at the schoolhouse door, she and her parents took another step: they sued the San Francisco school board…and won! Their case Tape v. Hurley made its way up to the California Supreme Court, which ruled that children of Chinese heritage had the right to a free public school education. But even then, Mamie’s fight wasn’t over.

Mamie Tape Fights to go to School is the story of one young changemaker's brave steps on the long journey for school equality...

beginning with a single step.

Written by Traci Huahn

Illustrated by Michelle Jing Chan

ISBN: 9780593644027

–Teresa Robeson

Author of Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Award-Winning picture book Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

"A gripping and accessible biographical story of a U.S-born Chinese girl caught in a pivotal moment of history, this book spotlights the discriminatory difficulties that visible minorities faced and the heroic actions and perseverance that ordinary people must undertake for equality. Truly inspirational! This is a must-read for all ages, really, because Chinese-American history is American history."

"I love that this book communicates, in such a clear and age-appropriate way, the can-do spirit and perseverance of the Tape family!"

–Linda Lum Doler

Great-Granddaughter of Mamie Tape

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