No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in
Saigon over peacetime in Alabama.
For all the ten years of her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the
thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of
her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family
are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed
toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of Alabama:
the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the
strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very
This is the moving story of one girl''s year of change, dreams,
grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one
life to the next.