I was working on book lists for Hmong, Lao, Vietnam, and Cambodia, but it turns out that there are few fiction books on their countries but quite a few on Cambodia. Like Japanese American books that mostly focus on WWII internment, many fiction books revolve on Khmer Rouge Cambodia, a heartbreaking event in history.
Still, there are other sides of the Cambodian story that emerge from this book list: folk tales that turn on the clever rabbit (the peasant who outwits those in power), the refugee immigrant, and the lives of Cambodians post war.
This list can also be used as part of a discussion on racism, and who is an “American.” I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. You can also use this list as a companion to Holocaust books for kids.
If you have other books to add on Cambodia, Laos, the Hmong or Vietnam, I’d welcome them! Thanks for sharing!
Books for Kids About Cambodia
Who Belongs Here?: An American Story by
A refugee’s story of who belongs here in America? After facing the most brutal of regimes, Nary, his grandfather and uncle are able to leave a refugee camp to relocate in America. Far from being the land of opportunity, they face racism. Similarly, Nary is bullied at school. Use this book to help students understand the refugee experience and to build bridges of understanding and compassion. Italicized notes on each page give a deeper view of the immigration experience. This book is also great paired with immigration picture books from other countries. [picture book, ages 8 and up]