By The Skin of His Teeth
This one is the third in the Moses.... trilogy and an excellent book. Or so I think. It also is based on a real life murder that happened during the gold rush in British Columbia during the late 1800s.
The year is 1870, the place Barkerville, British Columbia, where dreams glitter with gold. Racial tensions run high when a Chinese man is found stabbed to death on the steps outside his restaurant. The accused is a French Canadian named Henri Tremblay, and the main witness is a Chinese immigrant called Ah Ohn.
In By the Skin of His Teeth, seventeen-year-old Ted MacIntosh, whom author Ann Walsh showcased earlier in Moses, Me, and Murder and The Doctor’s Apprentice, befriends a young Chinese boy despite the intense prejudice seething in the frontier town. Ted suffers intimidation and violence at the hands of the cruel, arrogant Tremblay and his cronies, but with courage and conviction the young man stands up for what he believes and defends his Chinese friend. Tremblay and his crew, though, ultimately harass and scare the entire Chinese community into silence and altered testimony. At the trial Ted is outraged and fights to reveal the truth, and we are hurled toward a controversial conclusion as the jury delivers its verdict.