Tiger Girl

Tiger Girl

by May-lee Chai
     
 

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Nea Chhim, the spirited heroine of Dragon Chica, struggles with college. Nightmares of war flood the waking memories of this 19-year-old survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields.  Nea decides she must confront the past to overcome her fear and begin her own life in America. Without telling Ma, she hops on a cross-country bus in Nebraska to see herSee more details below

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Overview


Nea Chhim, the spirited heroine of Dragon Chica, struggles with college. Nightmares of war flood the waking memories of this 19-year-old survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields.  Nea decides she must confront the past to overcome her fear and begin her own life in America. Without telling Ma, she hops on a cross-country bus in Nebraska to see her biological father in Southern California. There Nea comes face to face with a man wounded by survivor’s guilt who refuses to acknowledge the family’s secrets. Nea determines to revive his struggling donut shop and help him recover. Her tireless efforts attract a mysterious young man’s attention—is he casing the place for a gang? It is up to Nea to find out the truth: about her family, the war that nearly destroyed them, and herself.
 
Tiger Girl weaves together Cambodian folklore and its painful past with contemporary American life to create an unforgettable novel about love, war, and acceptance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

""An original storyteller writing a book about the need for a young woman's love, her cross-country journey that is also an inner journey, and her surviving, with others, a life they weren't meant to survive. This is their story. I couldn't stop reading. This is a writer to follow on her own journey of words."" - Linda Hogan, The Book of Medicines and Indios

""Like many of her characters, May-lee Chai is a masterful storyteller with a poignant and gripping tale to tell. I couldn't put TIGER GIRL down: I wanted to know what was going to happen next of course, but I also wanted to learn more about the past, to understand the painful and astonishing paths that led these people to find one another. Her book travels far and wide, but in the end it's about families--not just the ones we're born into but also the ones we make for ourselves. It's enthralling and moving and fascinating and absolutely wonderful."" - Claire LaZebnik, bestselling author of If You Lived Here, You've Be Home Now and Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts

School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—Nea, a college sophomore, still struggles to fit in and can't find a way to confront her mother about the truths her sister revealed at the end of Dragon Chica (Gemma, 2010). During Christmas break, she travels from Nebraska to California to visit Uncle, who is really her father. Once there she tries to bring new business to his doughnut shop, with the hope that he will recognize her as his daughter. Instead, her efforts lead to the return of her older brother—long thought to have been murdered by the Khmer Rouge. Chai weaves together Cambodian mythology, proverbs, and modern history as Nea fights for recognition from her family. The language is lyrical, but the protagonist lacks the maturity one assumes from a college student. The first half of the novel drags as Uncle's intentions and feelings are obvious to readers but not to his daughter. The plot and pacing pick up once the long-lost son appears. Those willing to get to that point will not be disappointed. Enough backstory is worked in that readers do not need to have read the earlier novel to enjoy this one.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
Nineteen-year-old Khmer Rouge survivor and Cambodian refugee Nea Chhim sets out to uncover a lifetime of lies in this quietly powerful sequel to Chai's Dragon Chica (2010). It's been a year since Nea found out she was adopted by Ma, and the people she's always known as Auntie and Uncle are her biological parents. Plagued by nightmares about her childhood, Nea decides to confront the past in order to exorcise the ghosts of the present, resolving to gain Uncle's love and approval as his daughter so her mind can rest. Nea is shocked to find that this once-wealthy man is now a low-key bakery owner living a monklike existence, donating most of his inventory to local charities in penance for the guilt he feels over his wife's death. Nea plans to win him over by helping him prosper, but when the bakery becomes a local hot spot, her plan doesn't yield the results she desires. When a family member long thought lost reappears, Nea must learn to let go of what's she been trying so hard to grasp. Nea's narration is meticulous, recapping the events of the earlier book and then proceeding, describing events and emotions in detail. Readers need not have read the previous book to understand this story of family, forgiveness and belonging, and it provides a jumping-off point for further reading about Cambodian history. (Fiction. 15 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936846450
Publisher:
GemmaMedia
Publication date:
10/07/2013
Series:
Gemma Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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