“Ung’s memoir should serve as a reminder that some history is best not left just to historians, but to those left standing when the terror ends.” ~ Booklist READ MORE BOOK REVIEWS
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh with her parents, six siblings and loved fried crickets, chicken fights, and open-air markets. When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into her city in April 1975, Ung’s family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. Eventually, they dispersed in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited. Published in 2000, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers was selected by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians’ Association for “Excellence in Adult Non-fiction Literature.” The book has been published in eleven languages and chosen widely for school and community reads. The book has also been adapted into a Netflix Original movie directed by Angelina Jolie to be release in 2017. CLICK HERE TO READ FTKMF TEACHING GUIDE Book Club Toolkit
In this lyrical sequel to her bestselling, critically acclaimed memoir First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung describes her school years in Vermont as a Cambodian refugee and, in alternating chapters, gives voice to her sister’s experience as a genocide survivor left behind in rural Cambodia.
Lucky Child chronicles Loung’s struggles to uphold her family’s honor though she was forced to leave them in order to survive. As much Loung’s personal story as that of a war-torn family and nation, Lucky Child is a meditation on what might have been. This striking parallel of Loung’s life in America with her sister Chou’s life in postwar Cambodia highlights the harsh realities of chance and circumstances, both on a personal level for the Ung family and on a national level for all Cambodians. READING GUIDE FOR LUCKY CHILD
LULU IN THE SKY
Lulu in the Sky, the last chapter in a life that began with her bestselling, critically acclaimed memoir First They Killed My Father, reveals Loung’s daily struggle to keep darkness and depression at bay while she attends college and falls in love with Mark, a Midwestern archetype of American optimism. Lulu is a story of Loung’s tentative steps into love, activism, and marriage—a journey that takes her back to Cambodia to reconnect with her mother’s spirit and to a vocation that focuses on healing the landscape of her birth. READ REVIEWS & INSPIRATION FOR LULU.