Laura Manivong Escaping the Tiger

ISBN 13: 9780061661778

Escaping the Tiger

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9780061661778: Escaping the Tiger

When you're so skinny people call you Skeleton Boy, how do you find strength for the fight of your life?

Vonlai knows that soldiers who guard the Mekong River shoot at anything that moves, but in oppressive Communist Laos, there's nothing left for him, his spirited sister, Dalah, and his desperate parents. Their only hope is a refugee camp in Thailand—on the other side of the river.

When they reach the camp, their struggles are far from over. Na Pho is a forgotten place where life consists of squalid huts, stifling heat, and rationed food. Still, Vonlai tries to carry on as if everything is normal. He pays attention in school, a dusty barrack overcrowded with kids too hungry to learn. And, to forget his empty stomach, he plays soccer in a field full of rocks. But when someone inside the camp threatens his family, Vonlai calls on a forbidden skill to protect their future—a future he's sure is full of promise, if only they can make it out of Na Pho alive.

In her compelling debut, Laura Manivong has written an evocative story that is vividly real, strongly affecting, and, at its heart, about hope that resonates in even the darkest moments.

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About the Author:

Laura Manivong never knew she wanted to write books until she met her husband, but the clues were there all along. Her mother and grandfather were writers. Her college professor told her to keep writing, which made her wonder, Write what? And her study at Missouri State University led her to a job as a television writer/producer. But after marrying Troy, it began to click. After eight years, two kids, and countless drafts, Escaping the Tiger was done, its pages based on Troy's experiences as a Lao refugee hoping for a new home.

Laura and Troy live in Kansas City, where she was born and raised, and where he started life over at nineteen. They share their house with their two lovely, loud children, their louder dog, and ever-shifting piles of clutter. Escaping the Tiger is Laura's first novel.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7–10—When 12-year-old Vonlai's family escapes communist rule in Laos, he expects to find safety in a refuge camp in Thailand. He does not expect to practically drown in the Mekong River or to experience the horrible conditions that he and his family find themselves in. The refugee camp offers little food, water, adequate sanitation, or security, and the heat is relentless. Vonlai thrives at school, but after one year, he is too old for even this meager asylum. An elderly refugee, Colonel, befriends him and teaches him to whittle away, both the days that turn to years and the wooden figurines he is carving. Yet, it is the ever-present threat to his 16-year-old sister's virtue that sabotages any sense of well-being. A guard watches her, stalking and circling in closer and closer, keeping readers feeling as uneasy as Vonlai. This compelling novel offers significant historical background. This is certainly a book to prompt purposeful discussion to increase historical and multicultural awareness.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Manivong, Laura
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