When Heaven Fell
By Carolyn Marsden
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763631758, 192pp.)
Publication Date: February 13, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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When a Vietnamese girl receives a visit from her half-American aunt, brimming curiosity — and cultural misperceptions — come to the fore.
Every day nine-year-old Binh sells fruit and sodas to the girls whose families can afford to send them to school, and every night she returns to her one-room home to share a simple meal with her family. Everything changes, however, when her grandmother tells Binh she had a daughter during the war, a child who was sent away to America as a little girl. Now Di Hai — Binh’s aunt, a teacher — is coming to visit, and Binh can’t help but wonder what luxurious gifts she will bring.
Yet when Di Hai arrives, there are so many confusing things about her: she’s taller than the men, she’s not married, and her presents are mere trinkets that could have come from Third Aunt’s tourist shop! Still, Binh secretly hopes Di Hai will take her to live in America. Can her aunt live up to her expectations? Carolyn Marsden tells Binh’s story with warmth and sensitivity as she ushers readers into the life and dreams of a young Vietnamese girl.
Carolyn Marsden is the author of several acclaimed novels for young readers. She says, "In January 2005, I traveled in Vietnam with a Buddhist delegation led by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. The people I met and the stories I heard in Vietnam inspired this story of Binh." Carolyn
Marsden lives in La Jolla, California.