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by Ruth Starke


School Library Journal:

Gr 4–6— It is his father’s first trip back to Vietnam since emigrating to Australia, and 11-year-old Andy cannot help but take stock of both the cultural differences and the changes in his dad’s behavior. Even on the plane ride there, his normally thrifty, casually clad father has been replaced by a diamond-ring-wearing Viet Kieu (the term for anyone returning to their homeland) in a business suit. Once in Hanoi, the obvious differences in amenities, prices, and customs continue. Particularly troubling are the street children who hover around the foreign visitors. As Andy gradually gets over his culture shock, he gains a better understanding of his family relationships, thanks in part to his cousin Minh, a resourceful and determined girl. Minh and Andy provide a vivid tourist and insider portrayal of Hanoi, with especially tantalizing descriptions of food at the family-owned restaurant. Do not read while hungry.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library –Joanna K. Fabicon (Reviewed May 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 5, p124)


  • Children’s Book Council of Australia: Notable Australian Children’s Books: Younger Readers
  • USBBY Outstanding International Books – Grades 6-8: 2011


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Ages 9-12, Family