Bibliographic Information: Shea, Pegi Deitz., and Anita Riggio. The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee’s Story. Honesdale, PA: Caroline House, Boyds Mills, 1995. Print.
Brief Annotation: This is a beautiful story about a young Hmong girl, Mai, who enjoys listening to and watching the women who make Hmong story cloths. Hmong story cloths serve as historical representations of the Hmong experience, both in Asia and as they embarked to safer territories in the west. Mai ends up creating her own story cloth depicting her life’s experiences thus far.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Grade Level: 2-6
Reader who will like this: Readers who identify as Hmong would surely enjoy this story. Any refugee student would find this story appealing.
Rating/Response: 5 – This story is historically accurate and has a main character that is easy to identify with. The accompaniment of the actual photographs of Hmong story cloths adds a genuine and unique element to this story.
One question you would ask before a read aloud: What background knowledge do we have in terms of the Hmong people and their experience in coming to America?
Reading Strategy: Questioning
Rationale for Strategy: This story provides for lots of think mark opportunities, as the reader can question the story in terms of the history of the Hmong people as well as the characters’ actions and feelings.
Posted by: Emma Henke