Listen, Slowly

Listen, Slowly

by Thanhha Lai

Harper (HarperCollins), 2015, 260 pp., $16.99

Realistic Fiction, Family, Vietnam

ISBN: 978-0-06-222918-2


Mai (at home)/Mia (at school) is a California-born, ocean-loving, American daughter of parents born in Vietnam who escaped April 30, 1975.  Now Ba, Mai’s grandmother, has news of her husband lost during the war.  The only person free to accompany Ba to Vietnam is Mai.  How can she leave her friends for the summer to travel across the world?  Life is unfair, until Mai learns to listen slowly and learn about the glue that keeps families together. Lai provides a wonderful, beautifully told story that describes life in modern Vietnam, spiced with tales of life during the Vietnam Conflict.  It’s a great addition to history lessons.


Kathleen Sanders

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays, KS