White Jade Tiger


On a trip to Chinatown, thirteen-year-old Jasmine steps through a doorway back in time and finds herself in the 1880s.

1994 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize — Winner
1994 Candian Library Association Book of the Year Award — Runner-up
1995 Silver Birch Award — Shortlisted
CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Spring 2017) Selection

Jasmine is not sure she likes the idea of being stuck in Victoria while her father goes to China. But on a field trip to Chinatown, she changes her mind. Passing through a doorway in Fan Tan Alley, she mysteriously finds herself in the early 1880s. Adventure begins with a new friend, a journey to the Fraser Canyon during the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and a search for an ancient amulet. But Jasmine is not the only one searching for the white jade tiger…


Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
Silver Birch Award
CLA Book of the Year Award
CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Spring 2017)


★ This is a complex and ambitious first novel. Lawson skilfully interweaves the narratives of present and past, exploring the concerns of each on many levels. The examination of racism and greed in B.C.'s early days is well integrated into the narrative.

Quill and Quire, starred review

Lawson successfully combines a very real sense of period, a vivid portrait of the lives of the Chinese workers who built the railway, and an exciting adventure.

Vancouver Sun

Julie Lawson has written a story so well grounded in real-life Victoria, B.C., now and in 1881, that the fantasy of time travel between our time and the past seems natural and necessary. White Jade Tiger is successful, both at telling a gripping story and finishing it in a satisfying, believable way.

Victoria Times-Colonist

White Jade Tiger opens up a window onto another world, and allows recognition of the riches inherent in another culture.

Kathleen Bailey

Lawson’s considerable ability to bring her characters to life, and the adept use of dialogue and description, make this a highly recommended book.

Joyce L. White

Very useful and interesting additions to the novel are the chronology of the history of the Chinese in Canada and the “Historical Note.”

Canadian Materials

About the Author

Julie Lawson

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Julie Lawson

Julie Lawson is the author of more than twenty children's and young adult titles. Her books have won the Sheila A. Egoff Literature Prize and been nominated for numerous awards, including various Forest of Reading Awards and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.