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The Stone Goddess
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The Stone Goddess

By Minfong Ho
2002, 201 pages, hardback.
Book Description from the Front Cover Flap
Excerpt from the Book Printed on the Back Cover
About the Author

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

When the Khmer Rouge take over the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, the lives of the Sokha family are suddenly disrupted. Forced to evacuate the city, Nakri and her siblings are soon torn from their parents and made to work in a labor camp in the countryside.

After the Khmer Rouge is overthrown, the Sokhas are reunited. Along with thousands of their countrymen, they leave their beloved homeland for the sprawling refugee camps on the border of Thailand. In the camps, Nakri and her family gather the fragments of their former life in Cambodia. They eventually make their way to the U.S., where they live with the memories of all that they left behind.

Minfong Ho, the author of the Caldecott Honor Book Hush!: A Thai Lullaby, is a sensitive and powerful storyteller. With imagery that is at once vibrant and subtle, Ms. Ho shows how a young girl - through her love of classical dance - eventually comes to terms with a world shattered by upheavals beyond her control.

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Excerpt from the Book Printed on the Back Cover

There, shimmering in the doorway, was my sister, Teeda, resplendent in a white apsara gown, silver bracelets on her slender wrists, and a heavy necklace under her delicate collarbones. Crowned by an ornate headdress, her face was smooth and innocent of suffering, just as it had been before the harsh years in our work camp. She looked poised to dance.

Teeda, I called to her silently. But she did not move. Desperately, I stepped toward her and reached out - but she was gone. I blinked, and Teeda had melted into the stone.

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Background on Minfong Ho

Minfong Ho was born in Burma and grew up in Thailand. In 1980, during the massive influx of refugees from Cambodia, Ms. Ho became a relief worker in the refuge camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, where she helped set up a feeding program for malnourished children.

The child of Chinese immigrants, Ms. Ho grew up in a family that was forced to move several times because of political turmoil. This experience enabled her to empathize deeply with the Khmer refugees when she wrote The Stone Goddess.

Minfong Ho has studied at Tunghai University in Taiwan and at Cornell University, where she earned a B.A. and an M.F.A. She now lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and their three children.

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