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Cambodian Dancer
Cover of Cambodian Dancer
Cambodian Dancer
Sophany's Gift of Hope
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**Winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award Silver Medal for Non-Fiction —Picture Book**
This beautifully illustrated children's book tells the story of a little Cambodian girl forced to leave her old world behind and find a new home in America.

In clear but simple language and vivid illustrations, this Cambodian children's story communicates a sense of the joy, sadness, injustice and triumph that lives on in young Cambodian Americans. It shows that it is possible to overcome great hardship, and that a single decision can do much to heal one's self and others.
The Cambodian Dancer is the true story of a Cambodian refugee—a dancer and teacher—who built a life in the US after fleeing the Khmer Rouge. She became a counselor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children. Her gift of hope was to teach children in the Cambodian community the traditional dances of Cambodia so that young people growing up far away from the land of their ancestors would know about their culture.
**Winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award Silver Medal for Non-Fiction —Picture Book**
This beautifully illustrated children's book tells the story of a little Cambodian girl forced to leave her old world behind and find a new home in America.

In clear but simple language and vivid illustrations, this Cambodian children's story communicates a sense of the joy, sadness, injustice and triumph that lives on in young Cambodian Americans. It shows that it is possible to overcome great hardship, and that a single decision can do much to heal one's self and others.
The Cambodian Dancer is the true story of a Cambodian refugee—a dancer and teacher—who built a life in the US after fleeing the Khmer Rouge. She became a counselor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children. Her gift of hope was to teach children in the Cambodian community the traditional dances of Cambodia so that young people growing up far away from the land of their ancestors would know about their culture.
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  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2015

    K-Gr 2-This is a simplistic telling of the true story of Sophany Bay, a Cambodian dancer and refugee. Sophany learned the dance passed down through the generations in Cambodia, and the dance made her feel alive. She was a wonderful dancer who performed for the King of Cambodia and made her living teaching young Cambodian girls the dance of their heritage. However, "bad men took over the land" and took away all the joy and culture the people held dear. Sophany was fortunate enough to find solace in the United States, where she saw young Cambodians growing up without knowing their heritage, without the dance. It was then that she began teaching the dance again, and it is the dance she still teaches to this day. The textured, mixed-media illustrations add intrigue to the story told in simple sentences. They convey emotion and provide context for the diluted history provided. An author's note offers slightly more background on the real Sophany Bay and Khmer Rouge takeover. VERDICT A general purchase for libraries needing picture books on Cambodian culture and history and those looking to diversify their shelves.-Brittany Staszak, St. Charles Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Tuttle Publishing
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Cambodian Dancer
Cambodian Dancer
Sophany's Gift of Hope
Daryn Reicherter
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