After her mother is killed by an explosion that also destroys her Vietnam village, four-year-old Kim is alone and afraid. Eventually, she is rescued by soldiers who bring her to an orphanage.
Surrounded by the love of the couple who run the orphanage, the companionship of the children who live there, and her mother's promise, “I will always be with you,” Kim finds the strength and courage to survive.
This picture book for older readers, based on a true story from the Vietnam War, portrays the hope that exists in even the most desperate situations. Poignant illustrations capture the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of kindness.
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
Children's Book Council, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (2009)
Bank Street College, Best Children's Books of the Year **starred** (2009)
"In this well-told story with perfectly matched illustrations, all the Kims who came to the United States after the Vietnam War have a book to share with their children and grandchildren to help tell their stories. The rest of us have an opportunity to walk for a while in their shoes."
Horn Book Guide
"In this book based on real events, the eloquent illustrations and sensitive text temper Kim's suffering with her courageous spirit and caregivers' love."
"Based on a true story, this story documents the hardships of war in a personal way that older children will undoubtedly understand."
School Library Journal
"This picture book takes a tragedy experienced by a four-year-old and makes it a universal story about being alone and afraid. . . Kim's expressions, the gray lines of marching soldiers, and the devastated land do more to deglorify warfare than any amount of adult preaching, just as the sight of her softly weeping in her bed and being reassured by the orphanage house mistress conveys her longing for her mother better than words would. This is a good book to use in classroom discussions of war, of what happens to the children, or, more specifically, of the Vietnam War and how it was that so many Vietnamese came to the United States."