I’ve been writing stories since I was a wee babe. I’m in 2nd grade in this photo, holding up a story I wrote at my parents’ ESL teacher’s house.

My Novels

Afraid her sister (and maybe even herself) could lose sight of their Vietnamese identity, twelve-year-old Bom writes a poetic memoir to help them both remember–a love letter in verse to sisterhood and the places we leave behind.

Bom can’t believe that her sister doesn’t see herself as Vietnamese, only American. She says she doesn’t remember Vietnam or their lives there, their family there, their house and friends. How could her sister forget the terrible journey through Saigon and the airplanes and… everything?

And what about Bom? She remembers now, but how long will she keep her memories? She always found comfort in the sound of her father’s typewriter. Clickity-clackclickity-clack. So she has an idea. She’ll write down all that she can remember: the time when her father was a spy, when her mother was nicknamed a “radio,” when they were so hungry Bom couldn’t walk well, when the family all said goodbye.

Bom will even tell her sister, and herself, about what it was like moving to Tennessee. The ESL classes, bullies, strange new foods, icy weather, friendships, and crushes–and how her family worked to keep their heritage alive.

She’ll type one poem at a time, until they’ll never forget again.

ISBN – Hardcover: 9781643796420
Reading Level: Grades 4 – 8

Themes: Asian/Asian American Interest, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Courage, Cultural Diversity, Diversity, Empathy/Compassion, Families, Fiction, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Immigration, Middle Grade, Overcoming Obstacles, Refugees, Siblings, War

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Mèo and Bé by Doan Phuong Nguyen cover

* Notable Books for a Global Society 2024 Winner *
* 2023 Freeman Book Award Honorable Mention *
* 2024 Society of Midland Authors Award Semi Finalist in Children’s Fiction *

Eleven-year-old Bé hasn’t spoken a word since her mother left. She hangs on to the hope that one day they will be reunited, but after two years of waiting, it’s becoming more difficult. Her father–who is now frail and helpless after a stroke–can do little to protect her from her stepmother, Big Mother, who treats Bé like an animal and a servant. Thankfully, Bé has a secret friend, her little kitten Mèo, to comfort her in the worst of times. Maybe if she just steers clear of Big Mother and is obedient, everything will be okay.

Unfortunately, Big Mother has other plans. She accuses her of stealing, and Bé is drugged and sold. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a locked underground bunker being held captive with a group of young women. Bé is too young to understand why they’re prisoners, but at least she still has Mèo! He was hiding in her shirt when she was taken. As weeks pass, Bé makes a friend her own age, Ngân, even without speaking, and Mèo becomes a solace for the women–being available for cuddles and catching the mice that annoy them.

Suddenly, a violent uprising enables the imprisoned women and girls to escape, only to realize the wider world of war is just as dangerous. Can Bé and Mèo, and their newfound friend, Ngân, find their way to a safe place they can call home–even though the world is literally exploding all around them?

A beautiful literary work, full of kindness and compassion amidst the devastation of war.

ISBN – Hardcover: 9781643796420
Reading Level: Grades 8-12

Themes: Adoption, Asian/Asian American Interest, Coping with Death, Courage, Cultural Diversity, Diversity, Empathy/Compassion, Families, Fiction, Forgiveness, Friendship, Geography, History, Kindness/Caring, Middle Grade, Overcoming Obstacles, Persistence/Grit, Realistic Fiction, Refugees, Sharing & Giving, War

Lee and Low
Parnassus Books
Main Street Books
Novel Neighbor
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound