Young adult books about or starring characters from Laos?
February 25, 2013 4:48 PM   Subscribe

[Book Filter] Does anyone have recommendations of books that are either about Laos, or starring characters that are Laotian?

I have a student in my 5th grade class whose parents and grandparents emigrated from Laos and is interested in reading about experiences of people who live in Laos. Books can be either fiction or non-fiction, but fiction is preferred. He is probably a little behind grade level in his reading ability, so a book that is good for 3rd or 4th graders would be preferable. Optional: Adult or Young Adult books on the same subject that I could read on my own and discuss with him.

Books that I have read that are somewhat related to Laos: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and First They Killed My Father.
posted by ruhroh to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Haven't read it myself but this might fit the bill: Little Cricket by Jackie Brown.
posted by paperback version at 4:59 PM on February 25, 2013

You might have already run across the Lao nonprofit Big Brother Mouse in your research. I'd recommend emailing them the same question. They distribute children's books in Laos (in Lao, not English) but the nonprofit was started by an American publisher, and I would guess they might have some good ideas for you.

Also Lao community centers might have some ideas.

Good luck!
posted by betsbillabong at 5:05 PM on February 25, 2013

This is not a young adult book but for you - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is terrific (about a Hmong family from Laos).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:14 PM on February 25, 2013

Shoot - I just realized you've read that! Serves me right for not reading your question carefully enough. But I do love that book.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:16 PM on February 25, 2013

OK, I have to redeem myself now, so here is a site with some other Hmong-focused book recommendations. This one (Dia's Story Cloth) struck me as potentially good for your student.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:23 PM on February 25, 2013

You could see if these would work:

Colin Cotterill has a series of mysteries set in Laos in the 70s. I've read the first couple starring Dr. Siri and liked them quite a lot. As I recall they were reasonably gentle, although they had some sort of psychedelic elements.
posted by OmieWise at 5:38 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are great responses except that the kiddo in my class is not Hmong.
posted by ruhroh at 6:23 PM on February 26, 2013

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