Inspired by the author’s childhood experience as a refugee, fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
H has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. H and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope, toward America.
This moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it “enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny.”
An author’s note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into H’s story. This paperback edition also includes an interview with the author, an activity you can do with your family, tips on writing poetry, and discussion questions.