Five Finds – Vietnam

May is Asian Heritage Month, and what better way to celebrate than with some fantastic children’s books!

This edition of Five Finds is all about Vietnam. While information books on the country and its history abound, let’s take a look at some of the exceptional works of fiction that feature this South East Asian country and its people.

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 A Million Shades of Gray / Cynthia Kadohata

In 1975 after American troops pull out of Vietnam, a thirteen-year-old boy and his beloved elephant escape into the jungle when the Viet Cong attack his village.

 Inside Out and Back Again / Thanhha Lai

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Listen, Slowly / Thanhha Lai

Assisting her grandmother’s investigation of her grandfather’s fate during the Vietnam War, Mai struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar culture while redefining her sense of family and identity.

Going Home, Coming Home / Truong Tran

A young girl visits her grandmother in Vietnam where her parents were born and learns that she can call two places home

Fly Free! / Roseanne Thong

When Mai feeds the caged birds at a Buddhist temple in Vietnam, her simple act of kindness starts a chain of thoughtful acts that ultimately comes back to her. Includes author’s note explaining the Buddhist concepts of karma and samsara, or the wheel of life.

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