GRACE’S GRANDMOTHER HAS died, and she and her mother must travel back to the Cambodian community to give her a proper Cambodian funeral. But Grace wants to use the trip to solve a few mysteries, like who her father was, why her mother and grandmother moved from St. Petersburg to Pennsylvania, where they’re the only Cambodians Grace has ever seen, and what Cambodian culture is really about.
Embraced by her mother’s old friends, Grace feels both at home and lost, fascinated by the traditions she’s never known, but strangely judged by some members of the community. Can she make sense of, and honor, the life of the grandmother she barely knew? And will revelations about the past bring Grace closer to her mother, or push them even further apart?
From the Hardcover edition.
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||316 KB|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After her grandmother dies, Grace finds herself and her mom on a trip to the Cambodian community of St. Petersburg, Florida, to give her grandmother a proper funeral. But Grace plans on using her first trip to a Cambodian community for more than just a funeral. She plans on solving some mysteries, like why she's never met her father, and why her mom and grandma left St. Petersburg to begin with.
Once in St. Petersburg, Grace is warmly welcomed by her mom's old friends but judged harshly by others due to a family history she had very little to do with. As her family mysteries are slowly solved, Grace finds herself falling farther away from her mother -- and all she can do is wonder how anything can ever be the same.
All I can say is that ROOTS AND WINGS is amazing. I knew nothing of the Cambodian culture before I read this but I could still relate immensely to Grace and the struggles she was facing. The different reactions she faced from the members of the community, along with the different parts of her history she discovered, all worked together to create an appealing and thoughtful novel about the hardships and love of the Cambodian culture that anyone, Cambodian or not, can enjoy.
Cambodian refugees have come to the US after the Vietnam War. They try to keep as many customs in the US as they had in Cambodia. Their children, being born in the US, do not understand the customs nor the silence the parents keep about the past. When they ask why they are to do something, the adults don't explain and there is hurt feelings on both sides. Grace is never told about the past. She comes to know it and then understands why her mother and grandmother never told her. I found this interesting. Being born in the US, I never gave a thought about talking of the past. We do it a lot. After reading this I understand why my grandparents did not tell their children of the hardships of the old country. I also understood Grace's side because if no one will answer her questions, not only of her family's past but of the culture they follow within the Cambodian culture, how can she learn so she does not offend others. The characters of the book who help Grace teach her a lot about the past and her culture as well as the whys. This is a good read.