Parents' Guide to

Butterfly Yellow

By Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Moving post-Vietnam War story of courage and perseverance.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

One of my favorite novels I have ever taught!

Everyone is familiar with Inside Out and Back Again but for readers in 7th grade and up, Butterfly Yellow is the stronger choice. There are powerful themes, dynamic characters, and the most beautiful literary language. It was the perfect "stretch" book for my 7th graders. As a teacher who loves to weave in history and geography, Lai's research is wonderful and led us into topics about the Vietnam War, immigration, and refugees, but also western culture and America in 1981. The two main characters have a complex relationship that models what true friendship between boys and girls might look like and how to navigate romantic feelings respectfully. As the main character, Hằng, deals with her trauma, readers build extraordinary levels of empathy. This is just really a powerful and wonderful book. I highly recommend.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Thanhha La's moving and lyrical historical novel -- her first for young adult readers -- powerfully explores family, friendship, hope, and survival. Hằng and LeeRoy might seem like an unlikely pair, but they're both outsiders in West Texas and form a sweet bond that's filled with many comical moments. Some readers might find it challenging to decipher Hằng's English, but LeeRoy is quick to understand her Vietnamese pronunciations and becomes the connecting bridge between Hằng and Linh/David. As Butterfly Yellow progresses, teens will be inspired by Hằng's fierce love, strength, and determination and see that this is a story of courage, communication, and perseverance.

Book Details

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