Explore the Value of Allyship with Author and Actor Duoa Muoa in His New Picture Book Today Is Different

In Today Is Different , coming this spring from Carolrhoda Books®, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group™, debut author Duoa Muoa and debut illustrator Kim Holt tell the story of two girls standing together with their communities to protest systemic racism and injustice. This gentle, exploratory title shows young readers the importance and necessity for solidarity and understanding.

Mai, a young Hmong girl, and Kiara, a young Black girl, are best friends. They do everything together—riding the bus, eating lunch, playing at recess. But one day Kiara misses school and Mai goes looking for answers. When she learns that her best friend is protesting an act of police violence against the Black community, Mai decides to join the protest too. At first, her parents want to protect her by keeping her at home, but with the help of her siblings she shows them that standing together makes all of us stronger. The rich and vibrant art invites readers to join Mai’s world and march alongside her community.

Doua Moua, who played Po in Disney’s live-action Mulan, wrote this story in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, which took place in Doua’s home state of Minnesota. After seeing intergenerational divisions within the Hmong community and recognizing the historical relationships between the Hmong and Black communities, Doua wanted to create a book honoring the value of solidarity. Today Is Different provides the perfect opportunity to begin a conversation with young readers about allyship and unity with Black Lives Matter.

Praise for Today Is Different:

“[O]ffers a reassuring and relatable narrative for kids who have been confused by recent news coverage.”—Booklist

“Moua positively portrays a cross-cultural friendship and explores how racial violence impacts children. . . . An important story about how marginalized groups can work together for social justice . . .”—Kirkus Reviews

Today Is Different speaks to overcoming fears, the importance of coming together as community, and the strength derived from young people being engaged, and I highly recommend it.” —Alan Page, author, retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, and retired NFL player

“[W]ritten with both nuance and directness by Doua Moua, and beautifully illustrated by Kim Holt, Today is Different adds to a very necessary conversation we should all be having.” —Bao Phi, author of A Different Pond

“With simple yet poignant prose, Today Is Different fosters compassion and connection among young readers.” —Carole Boston Weatherford, author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning book Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre and Newbery Honor-winning book Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom

About the Author and Illustrator
Doua Moua is an actor and writer based in Los Angeles, California. Moua recently played Chien Po in Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan. As a writer, he has received recognition for his movie script The Harvest on the Cape List/ Black List, a We Screenplay Finalist, and an Academy Nicholl Fellowship Semi-Finalist. Today Is Different is his debut picture book.

Kim Holt is an artist and children’s book illustrator. Her passion for art and drawing started at an early age, fueled by her family’s love for the arts. She received her BBA in Marketing from Howard University and her BFA in Animation from the Academy of Art University. Her goal as an artist is to create images that bring back memories and create pictures that make children wish they were inside the scenes. She lives in Maryland with her family.

Today Is Different
April 5, 2022
$17.99 Hardcover
eBook Also Available
Ages 5-9
HC: 978-1-7284-3029-4
32 Pages ● 10 5/8 × 8 7/8

To Purchase: Visit your local bookstore, order by phone at 800-328-4929, or visit us at lernerbooks.com.

Media contact:
Lindsay Matvick
Publicity Manager
800-328-4929, x385

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