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"In Chai's coming-of-age novel, 11-year-old Nea, who survived the Khmer Rouge with her scrappy mother, beautiful older sister, and younger siblings, leaves Texas for Nebraska to work in the Chinese restaurant owned by her auntie and uncle. But the miracle she'd hoped for is crushed upon arrival: auntie and uncle, once wealthy, are now struggling, and the locals are more bigoted than they were in Texas..." –Publishers Weekly
“It is very rare that a coming of age novel transcends its inherent limitations and attains the complex emotional resonance of adult fiction. Dragon Chica does this with great aplomb. The book explores with subtlety and depth the mature, universal issues of identity and connection, but it also retains its direct appeal to younger readers. May-lee Chai has performed a remarkable act of literary magic.” –Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Posted June 19, 2012
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Gorgeous writing, moving story! I really loved the novel "Dragon Chica," which tells the story of a Cambodian American refugee girl growing up in Texas and Nebraska. I learned a lot about Cambodian culture, but the scenes with the family are what really stuck with me. The characters are vivid and real, flawed but fascinating. The main character, Nea, is brave and tender-hearted, trying to protect her family and help them to overcome the many obstacles they face despite their not always kind treatment of her.
Posted July 21, 2011
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