Mai Ya's Long Journey
Mai Ya's Long Journey
Paperback: $12.95
80 pp, illustrated, map
ISBN: 9780870203657

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale
Price: $12.95
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Product Details
By Sheila Cohen

This title marks the launch of an exciting new series, Badger Biographies. These engaging books are designed to help kids age seven to twelve explore the stories of real Wisconsin people. The story of Mai Ya Xiong and her family and their journey from the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand to a new life in Madison, Wisconsin, is extraordinary. Yet it is typical of the stories of the 200,000 Hmong people who now live in the United States and who struggle to adjust to American society while maintaining their own culture as a free people.

Mai Ya's Long Journey follows Mai Ya Xiong, a young Hmong woman, from her childhood in Thailand's Ban Vinai Refugee Camp to her current home in Wisconsin. Mai Ya's parents fled Laos during the Vietnam War and were refugees in Thailand for several years before reaching the United States. But the story does not end there. Students will read the challenges Mai Ya faces in balancing her Hmong heritage and her adopted American culture as she grows into adulthood.

Sheila Cohen began her teaching career in the area of Speech and Language Therapy. When she took a hiatus from work to raise her two children, she began volunteering to teach English to an influx of immigrants who were settling in Madison in the late 1960s. She enjoyed that work so much that she returned to the University of Wisconsin to become certified in English as a Second Language.