Listen, Slowly

Listen, Slowly

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A California girl, born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to Mai's grandfather during the Vietnam War.
Publisher: New York : Harper, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062229182
Characteristics: 260 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
JCLLizW Dec 22, 2020

Mai is the perfect narrator for this book: she knows little about Vietnamese history, geography, and culture so I could learn about it right along with her. The author presents this information in a very natural way so this still feels like a novel rather than informational nonfiction. It seemed a little strange that Mai was so mad at her parents for sending her to Vietnam - I would love to travel to another country! Some readers may feel that the pacing of the book is slow or that there are too many characters to keep track of, but that depends on the person.

Nov 17, 2020

This book finds the balance between family conflict, Vietnamese history, language barriers, and being a fish out of water in the place you're supposed to belong.

I loved the way Lai balanced the English/Vietnamese language portions. Mai's ability to understand/speak the language of her family is mirrored in Ut's grasp of English, and it was a joy to watch these cousins' relationships with each other and with language grow over the course of the book.

The relationship between Mai and Ba was touching and beautiful. I loved watching Mai fall in love with her family's village and home. The descriptions of the food ALWAYS made me hungry.

Jul 22, 2016

I think that this book was pretty good. I like how it gave some insight on the Vietnam cuture. Mai starts off a bit dissagrable, but then slowly turns agreeable. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Jan 18, 2016

This story starts out a little rocky with a self-centered teenage narrator, Mai, obsessed with her own wants and needs but develops into a sweet story about the importance of love, family and acceptance as she helps her grandmother come to peace with the loss of her grandfather.

Jan 05, 2016

I did not like this book. All the minor problems in this book were solved in a paragraph or page! I do not recommend this book!

devorah1231 Jan 04, 2016

Not clean enough for a child to read, though nothing really bad happens, this book is full of teenagers talking about their bodies etc.

Watch our conversation with the author on Youtube:

May 20, 2015

I loved this one. The narrator's voice is believably tween, so when she complains about going to Vietnam for the summer, the reader understands and sympathizes, and when she (Mai) begins to learn more of the language and enjoy her trip, it feels right. Mai goes to Vietnam with her father and grandmother because her grandmother is trying to put her deceased husband's spirit to rest. He had been a prisoner of war and his body never found, so Mai's grandmother needs Mai to help take care of her as she gathers information.

I found this story very moving, with an engaging narrator, an interesting story, and perfect pacing.

multcolib_susannel Mar 28, 2015

California-born Mai has to listen slowly, look carefully and use all her patience when she travels to Vietnam with her Grandmother to find out what really happened to her Grandfather during the war.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jul 02, 2018

white_dove_572 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

Black_Butterfly_26 Jan 31, 2016

Black_Butterfly_26 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 6


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at HPL

To Top