The Trouble Begins
New York: Delacorte Press
2005, 200 pages
Portrays the difficulty experienced by a young Vietnamese boy, Du Nguryen, when he comes to the U.S. to rejoin the family that left him behind when he was a baby. He has been living in a Philippine refugee camp with his grandmother who accompanies him to America. He has trouble fitting in with the kids at school since his English is poor and he does not know classroom routines and American culture. At first his family thinks he only causes problems as they hear one complaint after another about him from other parents, from the school, and from even the police. His own siblings who have been in America much longer regard him at first as dumb and crazy. He cannot make friends and his classmates make fun of his name and treat him as if he is stupid. His grandmother knows that he is a brave, smart boy, but it takes a while for the others to see that. Once another boy invites him to play soccer, he shows how fast he can run and is invited to join the school team. When he delivers newspapers to save his father's paper route, helps save cats from a fire, and wins a math prize at school, his true colors appear and he gains friends as well as the love and support of his family. (IP)
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