From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen and illustrator Minnie Phan comes an unforgettable story of a Vietnamese American girl whose life is transformed by a wildfire.
When Simone is awakened by her mom as a wildfire threatens their home, it is the beginning of a life-changing journey. On their way to take shelter in a high school gym, the family passes firefighters from a prison unit battling the fire. Simone’s mom tells her that when she was a girl in Viet Nam, she was forced to evacuate her home after a flood. Joined by other children sheltering in the gym, Simone, a budding artist, encourages everyone to draw as a way to process their situation. After a few days, Simone and her mom are able to return to their home, which is fortunately still standing, and her outlook has changed. As Simone begins creating a piece of art with one of her new friends from the shelter, she realizes that they too can be firefighters, dreaming and working for a more sustainable future. With a poetic, haunting family story by esteemed author Viet Thanh Nguyen and gorgeous art from Vietnamese American illustrator Minnie Phan, this powerful tale introduces an unforgettable young heroine who awakens to a new role fighting for her community and for the future of the planet.
About the Author
Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of The Sympathizer, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial. His first picture book was Chicken of the Sea, co-written with his son, Ellison Nguyen, and illustrated by Thi Bui and her son, Hien Bui-Stafford.
Minnie Phan is an illustrator and writer based in Oakland, CA. Her work has been featured by Google, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the San Francisco Public Library, for which she illustrated a citywide reading campaign in 2022. She is the illustrator of the picture book The Yellow Áo Dài, written by Hanh Bui.
"A touching story about having to leave your home in haste.... shows the importance of art in our lives in the most difficult moments. Absolutely gorgeous illustrations." - Katie Fransen, The Novel Neighbor, St. Louis, MO