Journey Home

Review

by Booklist



"A 10-year-old Vietnamese American girl tells of her journey with her mother back to Vietnam to search for her mother's birth family... The stirring mixed-media illustrations... are a powerful part of the narrative, focusing on mother and daughter and on scenes of the Vietnamese city and countryside. Two heartrending pictures in sepia shades capture the climax of the quest for identity: one scene shows Mom's tearful reunion, not with her parents, but with the man who knew them and saw them die in the bombing of the village and found their baby in the rubble. That baby was Mom. The scene of him carrying the infant through the bombed village evokes the unforgettable news photos of civilians caught in that war. Then, in the green fields of the present day, Mai asks her mother, 'Where is home?' Like Allen Say's Grandfather's Journey (1993), this will encourage readers to ask about their own family stories of the journey home."