12.11.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? THE BEST WE COULD DO by @MsThiBui ‏

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week


the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

Does anyone know if it snowed at the bills game yesterday?

Check this out…


An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.


No matter how many times I read stories by and about refugees, I’m always amazed by the strength that humans can show to survive. Even in the face of horrible living conditions and near-death experiences, people press on.

It was fascinating learning more about Vietnam and the people of that country. I know that America was in a war there in the 60s and 70s, that it was complicated, that many Americans died. Yet I rarely think of what it was like for the people of that country to deal with the rise and fall of leaders, the split of a country, and the struggle for survival amidst all that upheaval. Bui’s moving biographical graphic novel captured all that, plus what it was like for her and her family to move to and live in America.

The most moving part for me was when the beautiful illustrations were interrupted with the actual refugee photos taken of the Bui’s family when they made it safely out of Vietnam and to a camp.

This book is written for adults, but if the topic is interesting to younger readers, I highly recommend Thanhha Lai’s award winning novel in verse on the same topic, Inside Out & Back Again.


Check out this link to the Abrams site to see more images of the book pages.

NBC news did a nice Q&A with Bui. She also shared a bunch with Mother Jones.






Did you catch my
this past week?


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