for Children of the River
by Linda Crew
When teen-aged Sundara flees Cambodia with her aunt to escape the Khmer Rouge Army, she and her family resettle in the United States, and try to resume life as usual in a completely foreign setting. Shy and cautious, Sundara gradually learns the ways of her peers in her new American high school and is flattered by the attention of Jonathan, one of the most popular boys in her class. The tension between her traditional Cambodian cultural values and her desire to "fit in" at school permeates the plot of an above-average teen romance. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 1989. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1989. Used with permission.
Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child.
Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be "a good Cambodian girl" at home. A good Cambodian girl never dates; she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy. Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other. Haunted by grief for her lost family and for the life left behind, Sundara longs to be with him. At the same time she wonders, Are her hopes for happiness and new life in America disloyal to her past and her people?
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.