Fall 2021

From the Tops of the Trees

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

“Father, is all of the world a refugee camp?”

Young Kalia has never known life beyond the fences of the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. The Thai camp holds many thousands of Hmong families who fled in the aftermath of the little-known Secret War in Laos that was waged during America’s Vietnam War. For Kalia and her cousins, life isn’t always easy, but they still find ways to play, racing with chickens and riding a beloved pet dog.

Just four years old, Kalia is still figuring out her place in the world. When she asks what is beyond the fence, at first her father has no answers for her. But on the following day, he leads her to the tallest tree in the camp and, secure in her father’s arms, Kalia sees the spread of a world beyond.

Kao Kalia Yang’s sensitive prose and Rachel Wada’s evocative illustrations bring to life this tender true story of the love between a father and a daughter.

Format Your Price
978-1-5415-8130-2
On pre-order until 10/05/2021
$13.49
978-1-7284-3058-4
On pre-order until 10/05/2021
$22.99
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Nonfiction, Picture Books
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2021-10-05
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF019060, JNF007050, JNF053240
Dewey 362.7/7914
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 610
Guided Reading Level R
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

“This story of resilience and generational hope is told in an expressive, straightforward narrative style. A visually striking, compelling recollection.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Author, Narrator: Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer, teacher and public speaker. Born in the refugee camps of Thailand to a family that escaped the genocide of the Secret War in Laos, she came to America at the age six. Yang holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Her works of creative nonfiction include The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Indigenous Women and Women of Color, and the upcoming title Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang has also written multiple children's books such as A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, and The Most Beautiful Thing. Her work has won numerous awards and recognition including multiple Minnesota Book Awards, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, an ALA Notable Children's Book Award, Dayton's Literary Peace Prize, and a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction.

Illustrator: Rachel Wada

Rachel Wada was raised between Japan and Hong Kong and is currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, advertising, and even a mural. Her first children's book project, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden, was recognized with the Freeman Award for Children's Literature. Her second children's book, From The Tops Of The Trees, is expected to be published in the fall of 2021. Visually, Rachel's works are characterized by the use of rich colours, textures, and fine details through both digital and traditional mediums.