I've never seen a story like Jude's depicted in children's literature. At 12 years old, she and her mom leave Syria to live with her uncle in America. But once in America, they quickly understand they won't be treated like they belong. This America that promised an acceptance of people from different countries, is one that calls Jude a terrorist once she starts wearing a hijab.
But through it all, Jude remains hopeful. From trying to make new friends, to trying out for her school's musical, she starts to learn that making a new home doesn't mean you have to forget the one you came from. This novel in verse is urgently relevant and not to be missed!
With natural, immediately engaging prose, Nguyen tells 8 very different stories of Vietnamese characters, striving to find their places in the world. Leaving one culture for another finds these people often straddling two ways of life, never without memory of the past. Two of the stories are actually set in Viet Nam with those who either chose to go there or to remain in their homeland. The ghost of the son/brother of a mother and daughter in the U.S. visits for the final closure and, in another tale, a family is hounded to contribute money to continued warfare in the homeland. Universal to the refugee experience, this collection represents all who have come to America for better lives. Capping the stories off are two essays by Nguyen, a bonus from this wise and witty observer.