Author: Pegi Deitz Shea
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Heritage: Hmong American
Published Date: 2003
Blurb: For the Hmong people living in overcrowded refugee camps in Thailand, America is a dream: the land of peace and plenty. In 1995, ten years after their arrival at the camp, thirteen-year-old Mai Yang and her grandmother are about to experience that dream. In American, they will be reunited with their only remaining relatives, Mai's uncle and his family. They will discover the privileges of their new life: medical care, abundant food, and an apartment all their own. But Mai will also feel the pressures of life as a teenager. Her cousins, now known as Heather and Lisa, try to help Mai look less like a refugee, but following them means disobeying Grandma and Uncle. From showers and smoke alaims to shopping, dating, and her family's new religion, Mai finds life in America complicated and confusing. Ultimately, she will have to reconcile the old ways with the new, and decide for herself the kind of woman she wants to be. This archetypal immigrant story introduces readers to the fascinating Hmong culture and offers a unique outsider's perspective on our own.
After ten years in a refugee camp in Thailand, thirteen-year-old Mai Yang travels to Providence, Phode Island, where her Americanized cousins introduce her to pizza, shopping, and beer, while her grandmother and new friends keep her connected to her Hmong hertiage.
About the Author:
Pegi Deitz Shea, a recipient of the Connecticut Book Award, has written many children's books. She lives in Rockville, Connecticut.