Books About Laos – Culture, Traditions and History

Whether it is through biography, autobiography, or historical fiction, books illuminate and enrich the study of historical events. If you have additional books to add to the internment collection, please contact Gail Desler and Kathleen Watt, Project Coordinators.

Resources - Books

  • The Forbidden Treasure – Author and educator See Lor draws from her Hmong heritage in this folktale that teaches about “kindness, humbleness, and greed.” This timeless tale and beautiful artwork can be enjoyed by all ages.
  • Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella – Jewell R. Coburn provides a beautiful Hmong Cinderella-like story appropriate for ages K-3. The story takes place in a peasant village in Southeast Asia.
  • The Latehomecomer – A Hmong Family Memoir – Kao Kalia Yang’s story of her family’s harrowing escape from Laos, their life in the refugee camps, and their experiences with American life and learning.
  • Hey, Hmong Girl, Whassup? The Journal of Choua Vang – Leah Rempel uses a journal format to tell the story of a Hmong girl growing up in Minnesota.
  • Across the Mekong River – Winner of three 2013 Independent Book Awards, Elaine Russell’s book recounts one Hmong family’s immigrant experience, including “family love, sacrifice, and the resiliency of the human spirit to overcome tragic circumstances.”
  • Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey of Freedom – Dia Cha’s autobiographical story shares her family’s journey, told through the story cloth stitched by her aunt and uncle, of fleeing to Thailand as a child and spending four years in a refugee camp before arriving in the U.S.
  • The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee’s Story – Pegi Deitz Shea tells the story of Mia, a Hmong refugee girl, as she remembers painful episodes from her life in a pa’ndau, a traditional story cloth.
  • Tangled Threads – A Hmong Girl’s Story – Pegi Deitz Shea tells the story of a 13-year-old orphan’s emotional  journey from Laos to the United States.
  • Stitch in Time – A Young Adult sequel to Tangled Threads – Pegi Deitz Shea writes about Mai, now a high school senior, crossing lines between two cultures.
  • Out of Laos – A Story of War and Exodus, Told in Photographs – Roger Warner in collaboration with Lue Vang, Ed.D., and Judy Lewis agreed that a visually-driven account of the Laos war might be useful, particularly among people who themselves lived through the war and its refugee aftermath.