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Childrens Story Books: Vietnam and Vietnamese Culture

Children's literature - fiction and nonfiction stories - about Vietnam and about Vietnamese children provide an enjoyable way for children (and their parents) to learn more about Vietnamese culture. Children always enjoy seeing pictures of children who look like them, as in these books and in the Children's Books on Vietnam. These story books on Vietnam and Vietnamese culture range in ages from books for young children through elementary school and older.

Grandfather's Dream
by Holly Keller
"Kid's story about birds who had disappeared from Vietnam due to war; very low-key and good depiction of Vietnamese multi-generational family life." (Elena Langrill)
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Water Buffalo Days
By Huynh Quang Nhuong
"It is a very good one for the middle-elementary school aged kids.  My son read it several months ago.  He  had lots of fun reading it and did a "book report" on it. I heard him telling this boy about all about the "adventures" they would be having if either of both of them went to Vietnam, (i.e. catching a baby sea otter, and having a loyal water buffalo "pet".)" (Barb Ohland) Ages 9-12"
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The Land I Lost : Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam
By Huynh Quang Nhuong
"Written by a man who grew up in the Highlands and came to the U.S. for medical treatment during the war and never returned to live. A book for older kids (it says 7-10 yrs on the back of the book) but my preschooler enjoys some of the stories about Tank the water buffalo - I don't read her some of the scarier stories that older kids could handle and would probably be THRILLED by - the horse snake and wild hog ones...). " (Georgia O'Keefe)
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Vero and Philippe
by Caroline Kim Hatton
"The charming story of the lives of two Vietnamese children growing up in Paris, France. When the Vo family moves their pharmacy from rural France to Paris, their daughter Vero has to adjust to a new school and a more restrictive life in the city. This book provides a unique look into the merging of two cultures - life in upper middle class France a number of years ago and Vietnamese family life." Ages 9-12
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Where is My Puppy?
by Caroline Hatton
In this book for young children, a Vietnamese American boy is looking for his puppy, can you help him? A sweet book for young children.
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The Lotus Seed
by Sherry Garland. 
"A wonderful children's book featuring Vietnamese culture from a 2nd generation Vietnamese American girl." (Kim Ward) Ages 6-10
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The Walking Stick
by Maxine Trottier
"A young Vietnamese boy carries a brass-tipped walking stick his uncle makes and gives to him saying that the Buddha "will watch over you no matter where you go, and bring you safely home." He carries the stick when fleeing from Vietnam to America. The circle is completed when his granddaughter brings the stick back to Vietnam."
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Angel Child, Dragon Child
by Michele Surat Surat
"This beautifully illustrated book is about a young Vietnamese girl who has recently moved to the US with her father and sisters. Adjusting to an American School proves very difficult at first, children laugh at her when she speaks Vietnamese and make fun of the ao dai she wears. Most of the taunting comes from a red haired boy, named Raymond who picks on her almost every day. Mostly this little girl misses her mother who had to stay behind in Vietnam. But to her surprise it is Raymond who thinks of the perfect way to help her bring her mother to the US." (Barb Ohland)
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Two Lands, One Heart : An American Boy's Journey to His Mother's Vietnam
by Jeremy Schmidt
"If you have not read this you should do that. The story of the book is of a young American child who goes to Vietnam with his mother to meet his grandparents & family. His mother & 2 siblings were left on the road in Vietnam (1975) by their father. They were to stay put & he would return on the scooter with the rest of the family. The introduction tells the story of how these 3 "non-orphans" ended up adopted by a family in Colorado, searching for family in Vietnam." (Susan Hall) (Ages 9-12)
"This is about a boy named T.J. who travels to Vietnam with his Mom, his Aunt, and his Grandmother to visit his Mom and Aunt's birth family. They travel from Saigon up the coast to his birth grandparents farm. There are lots of great color photos." (Wendy Barron)
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Going Home, Coming Home
by Truong Tran and Ann Phong
This summer, Ami Chi is taking a trip to far off Vietnam, where the streets are crowded with zipping scooters and the fruit are shaped like dragons and stars. To her parents, Vietnam is still home—a home they haven’t seen since they left during the war. But all this talk of going back home leave Ami Chi confused. How can you go back home to a place you¹ve never been? Ami Chi finds her answer in the rolling green rice paddies that blanket the countryside, in the bustling Cho Lon market, and in the quiet rooms of her grandmother’s house. Vietnam may be nothing like America, but some things—like the help of a new friend—make this strange place feel familiar. Before long, Ami Chi finds that sometimes, you can travel farther than you ever thought possible and still find yourself at home. Text is in English and Vietnamese.
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Everybody Cooks Rice
by Norah Dooley
"This is a neat multi-cultural children's book. The author & illustrator drew on their own neighborhoods for the characters & illustrations. The story: A young girl is sent out into her neighborhood to find her younger brother & bring him home for dinner. As she searches, she discovers that everybody is cooking a rice dish - but since the families come from different countries, each dish is unique. Following the story are eight recipes, including one for Tam's Nuoc Cham (fish sauce)." (Meredith)
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Onion Tears
by Diana Kidd
"A sad book about a young Vietnamese girl who immigrates to Australia. She has lost her family and feels teased and isolated, missing her homeland. Gradually she comes to to some acceptance. Not a story for young children but touching for adults." (Allison Martin) Ages 9-12
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