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Mai Ya's Long Journey Review by Dr. Heather W. Allen

Sheila Cohen
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Mai Ya's Long Journey is an incredible story of a girl's passage from childhood to adulthood. She starts out in Laos during the Vietnam War, then lives as a refugee in the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand, and finally ends up in the United States. The story captivates the reader as Mai Ya presents the challenges of the Hmong people, their treatment during the War, and all that they had to leave behind.

Can you imagine having lived like this--trying to balance your Hmong heritage with your new American culture? And can you imagine the night-and-day differences between life in Laos and life in America?

This incredible story brings to light the obstacles faced by hundreds of thousands of immigrants. I highly recommend Mai Ya's Long Journey to those who have never heard of the Hmong people and to those who are interested in different cultures.

The book was written for ages 7-12. It is the first book in a new series called Badger Biographies. I can't wait to read more of these books. What a great addition to anyone's home school library!

Product review by Dr. Heather W. Allen, Senior Analytical Consultant, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2007