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by Daryn Reicherter

illustrated by Christy Hale

Summary

School Library Journal:

K-Gr 2 — This is a simplistic telling of the true story of Sophany Bay, a Cambodian dancer and refugee. Sophany learned the dance passed down through the generations in Cambodia, and the dance made her feel alive. She was a wonderful dancer who performed for the King of Cambodia and made her living teaching young Cambodian girls the dance of their heritage. However, “bad men took over the land” and took away all the joy and culture the people held dear. Sophany was fortunate enough to find solace in the United States, where she saw young Cambodians growing up without knowing their heritage, without the dance. It was then that she began teaching the dance again, and it is the dance she still teaches to this day. The textured, mixed-media illustrations add intrigue to the story told in simple sentences. They convey emotion and provide context for the diluted history provided. An author’s note offers slightly more background on the real Sophany Bay and Khmer Rouge takeover. VERDICT A general purchase for libraries needing picture books on Cambodian culture and history and those looking to diversify their shelves.—Brittany Staszak, St. Charles Public Library, IL –Brittany Staszak (Reviewed July 1, 2015) (School Library Journal, vol 61, issue 7, p104)

Topics

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, Ages 0-8, Biography, Immigration, Khmer Rouge, Kindergarten, Non-fiction