My Father, The Panda Killer (Hardcover)

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My Father, The Panda Killer By Jamie Jo Hoang Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


Powerful new book about the Vietnamese immigrant experience and the lasting trauma of war from local author Jamie Jo Hoang. Told in alternating viewpoints of Jane, in 1999, a high school senior, and her father, Phúc, in 1975, a boy fleeing war ravaged Vietnam, the book is unflinchingly honest about the cost of war, the lasting trauma unintentionally passed down, and the cost the American born generation pays as they struggle to walk the fine line between their heritage and their home. Jane is desperate to escape her father's unpredictable anger, but worries who will protect her young brother Paul if she goes to college, all while trying to process everything with her only other Vietnamese friend, Jackie. In the alternating chapters, we hear her telling Paul about their father's perilous journey to escape the brutality after the war in Vietnam and how he faced a journey by boat with starvation, pirates, and confusion to finally arrive as a refugee in America.  

— Aerie

Description


A poignant coming-of-age story told in two alternating voices: a California teenager railing against the Vietnamese culture, juxtaposed with her father as an eleven-year-old boat person on a harrowing and traumatic refugee journey from Vietnam to the United States.

“A profoundly moving, achingly resonant story of love, family, and coming of age amid the lingering echoes of war; a luminous tapestry woven from the many threads of American dreams.”

―Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King and In the Wild Light


San Jose, 1999. Jane knows her Vietnamese dad can’t control his temper. Lost in a stupid daydream, she forgot to pick up her seven-year-old brother, Paul, from school. Inside their home, she hands her dad the stick he hits her with. This is how it’s always been. She deserves this. Not because she forgot to pick up Paul, but because at the end of the summer she’s going to leave him when she goes away to college. As Paul retreats inward, Jane realizes she must explain where their dad’s anger comes from. The problem is, she doesn’t quite understand it herself.

Đà Nẵng, 1975. Phúc (pronounced /fo͞ok/, rhymes with duke) is eleven the first time his mother walks him through a field of mines he’s always been warned never to enter. Guided by cracks of moonlight, Phúc moves past fallen airplanes and battle debris to a refugee boat. But before the sun even has a chance to rise, more than half the people aboard will perish. This is only the beginning of Phúc’s perilous journey across the Pacific, which will be fraught with Thai pirates, an unrelenting ocean, starvation, hallucination, and the unfortunate murder of a panda.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Phúc, My Father, The Panda Killer is an unflinching story about war and its impact across multiple generations, and how one American teenager forges a path toward accepting her heritage and herself.

About the Author


Jamie Jo Hoang, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, grew up in Orange County, CA—not the wealthy part. She worked for MGM Studios and later, as a docu-series producer. Now she writes novels and blogs full time. When Jamie’s not writing, she’s wandering, pondering, and chasing experiences. Her self-published first novel, Blue Sun, Yellow Sky, is a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year.

Praise For…


★ "An important book, highly recommended for high school and public libraries." —School Library Journal, starred review

"A gripping and difficult story of a family surviving abuse." —Kirkus Reviews

"Lush storytelling...a riveting intergenerational drama." —Publishers Weekly

"Hoang does a skillful job in capturing multigenerational trauma with Jane's teenage angst and Phúc's damaging voyage." The Horn Book


Product Details
ISBN: 9780593642962
ISBN-10: 0593642961
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 29th, 2023
Pages: 384
Language: English