by Susan Omoto
This short book introduces the background of the Hmong people and their immigration to the U.S. Omoto not only discusses the traditional lives, social structure, and beliefs of the Hmong in Laos but also the troubling stories of their dangerous and often deadly journeys to refugee camps in Thailand, and the enormous adjustments they have made to life in America. The last chapters profile five individuals who emigrated as children or teenagers and were the first Hmong to become, respectively, a medical doctor, a Catholic priest, an elected official, a Lutheran minister, and an attorney in the U.S. Quotations from these men and women help to individualize the suffering, the challenges, and the achievements of the Hmong. The black-and-white illustrations include a map and a few line drawings of those profiled. The book ends with a glossary and a list of Web sites, books, and periodicals for further reading. A good addition to many libraries, this is one of the few books available for children that reflect the experience of the Hmong in America.