Gathering Fireflies

Paperback, 218 pages, 6x9, English
by Mai Chao
ISBN: 9781502540195

Dreams are like fireflies… Kashia is 13 years old and only hears bits and pieces of his Hmong heritage. His curiosity and quest for knowledge are awakened when he interviews his grandparents, Mai Lia and Ginu, about their lives in the old country. Kashia learns about his family’s hardship after the Vietnam War in Laos, the crowded refugee camps in Thailand, and the struggles of life in the United States. His heart begins to change as his eyes are opened to what it means to survive, belong to a family, and have a cultural identity. This verse novel combines each character’s separate voice into one delightful melody. It is a song of hope for the future and reverence of the past.

About the Author

Mai Chao is a Hmong-American artist, writer, and teacher. Her family came to the United States from a refugee camp when she was ten years old. She wrote this book in hopes of inspiring people to remember the past while honoring those who have paved the way for future generations. The time has come for Hmoob people to write their own histories and tell their own stories so they will be recorded authentically. Mai Chao has lived happily in Wisconsin since her parents brought the family to America in 1992. She has two beautiful sons and a wonderful husband.