Going Home, Coming Home is a bilingual (English-Vietnamese) story book for all readers who feel “home is two different places,” on the left and right sides of their heart. The author, Truong Tran, sets this book in Vietnam and based it on his own upbringing. But I think the story will ring true with any family who has left their first home to make a second home in a different country.
We meet Ami, her mom, and dad while they are on a plane to Vietnam. It is Ami’s first time ever going to Vietnam and her parents’ first trip home since they left during the war. Ami is overwhelmed by the differences between America and Vietnam and wants to go home soon after they arrive. To cheer her up, Ami’s dad takes her to the market to buy a pet rooster. While at the market, Ami gets separated from her dad, loses and recovers her rooster, makes a friend and finds out Vietnam is also her home.
There is a particularly touching moment between Ami and her grandmother in the end, which shows how the love of family can even bridge the language barrier. You might just need a tissue. The picture on the cover says it all.
Recommendation: I highly recommend this book for readers 4-8 years old.
Reviewer: Amanda Setty
Publisher: Children’s Book Press; Publication Date: June 19, 2003