The Terrible Journey: A Hmong Child's True Story of His Escape from Laos to Thailand
Hardcover, 8x10, 26 pages, Bilingual
by Cha Yah
The Terrible Journey (Txoj Kev Txaus Ntshai) is a true story about the escape of a Hmong family from Laos to Thailand, told by 14 year-old boy who was in The Terrible Journey when he was about five years old.
Originally this book was written and illustrated by Cha Yah as a last- minute school project for his seventh grade ESL class in Highland Park Junior High School. His project fascinated his ESL teacher, Ms. Gilbert, who might already imagine its publication that would benefit many readers. It is especially unique because it was written by a Hmong child who witnessed this terrible journey himself and has remembered it so vividly. Only six years after being in the United States as a refugee kid, his memory of the journey was put into a book form, fully illustrated by his own artistic talents. And now his life story can be shared to thousands of young readers, especially Hmong American children.
After the United States withdrew its involvement in Southeast Asia in 1975, the Hmong in Laos could not continue the fighting against the Communists alone. General Vang Pao and many others had fled to Thailand in mid 1975. Others were persecuted for their roles in the war and for being on the side of the United States. Thus thousands of Hmong men with their families fled to the jungle and have continued fighting against the Communists until today. And many others bellieved that escape to Thailand was their only hope of survival. This is exactly the story told here by Cha Yah.