Books by Many Ly

Released: May 13, 2008

Fourteen-year-old Grace's beloved grandmother Naree has died, and Grace and her mother are going to St. Petersburg, Fla., to give her a traditional funeral in the midst of the Cambodian community that she loved. Grace also hopes to find some answers to the questions that plague her: Why did her mother and grandfather leave Florida for Scottsville, Pa., the only home Grace has ever known, where there is no Cambodian community at all? What scarred her grandmother's face, and what happened to her before she left Cambodia? How can Grace best honor the memory of her grandmother? What is Cambodian culture really like? And, perhaps most importantly, who and where is Grace's father? Suddenly caught up in this close-knit community and confused by the clash between Cambodian and American culture, Grace begins to find some answers—and some more questions. Replete with details depicting religious and social beliefs, Grace's quest for answers makes for an intriguing contemplation on life within Cambodian-American immigrant community, as well as a satisfying coming-of-age story. (Fiction. 12-14) Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 9, 2005

A young Cambodian-American girl describes the shattering and rebuilding of her family in this overlong yet affecting tale. Amy introduces readers first to her father, a refugee from the Khmer Rouge, who, after ten years in America, finds himself a much younger bride on a trip back home. She grows up always aware of the gossip that surrounds her: It's inevitable that her mother will leave her father. Despite these warnings, both Amy and her father are devastated when it finally happens, just before her tenth birthday, and their mutual agony separates them painfully in the aftermath. This not particularly unusual tale of the rigors of a family break-up is given texture by their culture, Cambodian custom dictating a stoicism that Amy rejects. Newcomer Ly burdens her narrative with extraneous characters and complications, and too often yields to the temptation to tell, not show, and readers may well tire of Amy before she winds up her tale. There are fine moments here, however, and those readers who stay the course will be happy to find Amy and her dad finally happy themselves. (Fiction. 11-14)Read full book review >