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by Many Ly


School Library Journal:

Gr 6–9— Grace, 14, has grown up knowing very little about her family and the traditions of her Cambodian ancestors. Then her grandmother dies, and she and her mother go to Florida for the funeral. Grace has never been to a Buddhist temple, she has never met the people her grandmother was close to, and she has never been told why her mother and grandmother left Florida for Pennsylvania. Grace doesn’t even know who her father is. Embraced by her grandmother’s old friends, she begins to learn about her heritage and about her grandmother’s difficult life. She also discovers secrets about her mother’s past and the identity of her father. The author peppers the text with Cambodian  terms but doesn’t explain them. Readers may feel as lost and confused as Grace is when thrust blindly into Cambodian society. The book is beautifully written, but readers will have to sift through the unfamiliar language to get through to the story. Still, the author allows family secrets to unfold carefully and explores them with sincerity.—Julianna M. Helt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA –Julianna M. Helt (Reviewed July 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 7, p104)


  • Asian Pacific American Award for Literature: Young Adult Literature


6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Identity, Loss, Teen