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McKay, Lawrence.
New York : Lee & Low, 1998
IL 3-6, RL 3.5
ISBN 1584300051
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Journey Home by Lawrence McKay, Jr. describes the quest of an orphaned Vietnamese woman as seen through the eyes of her ten-year-old daughter. The mother, Lin, is in search of her birth parents and travels with her daughter, Mai, to her birthplace of Vietnam. A handmade kite is the only connection to her parents that Lin has, and as the two journey through the country, they hope it will provide the clues that will lead them to Lin's birth parents. Throughout the search, Mai's keen observations give her much to reflect upon: her mother's strength, her family, her home, and her own identity.

This book would be a valuable addition to any classroom or personal library. A variety of readers would be able to identify with its characters. Lin and Mai are Vietnamese, both raised in the United States. Lin comes from a foster home, and Mai, who has never known her father, was raised by only her mother. Mai's trip to Vietnam creates many new experiences for her. She asks her mother at one point if they will stay in Vietnam if they find her birth parents. Her mother assures her, "No, our home is in America." Once in Vietnam, Mai has her first experience of "being in a country where I look mostly like everyone else. I'm used to being a little different" These experiences may be ones to which many children can relate.  (Jennifer Volk, teacher,

SUBJECTS:     Vietnam -- Fiction.
                        Vietnamese Americans -- Fiction.

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