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by Sherry Garland


School Library Journal:

Gr 7-12- Danny Vo is a typical American teenager, concerned about obtaining his driver’s license, finding a job, and getting a date with blonde, beautiful Tiffany Marie. At home, however, he must take the role of the elder son in a Vietnamese family. Tension increases when his older cousin Sang Le comes to stay with them in Houston. A former prisoner in a Vietnamese re-education camp and then a refugee in Hong Kong, Sang Le is overwhelmed in his new homeland. Bad grades and his inability to get a job cause him to take up with a Vietnamese gang. Just as Danny thinks he has gotten his cousin away from its members, Sang Le is tragically beaten to death by a group of white supremacist skinheads, one of whom is Tiffany Marie’s brother. Garland has written a coming-of-age novel with strong characters and a sensitive portrayal of a youth rooted in two cultures. She has also deftly woven in authentic details about Vietnamese lore and customs and shown how they are adapted in a new setting.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA


  • California Young Reader Medal: Young Adult


10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Cultural Differences, Family, Identity, Teen