Twelve-year-old Vietnamese-American Mai plans to spend the summer with her friends at home in California but her plans go awry when she must accompany her grandmother to Vietnam to investigate the disappearance of her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai misses her friends and their drama and struggles with Vietnamese culture, but she gradually grows to appreciate her heritage and extended family, and takes an interest in her grandmother’s search. This humorous, engaging novel explores culture and culture shock, and has positive messages about family, friendship, love, and sacrifice. Suitable for read-aloud, book clubs, and literature circles. Teacher preview recommended for younger grades.
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English Language Arts