Mai Chao Duddeck is an ’06 and ’08 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and the author of Gathering Fireflies.
“Dreams are like fireflies… Kashia is 13 years old and only hears bits and pieces of his Hmong heritage. His curiosity and quest for knowledge are awakened when he interviews his grandparents, Mai Lia and Ginu, about their lives in the old country. Kashia learns about his family’s hardship after the Vietnam War in Laos, the crowded refugee camps in Thailand, and the struggles of life in the United States. His heart begins to change as his eyes are opened to what it means to survive, belong to a family, and have a cultural identity. This verse novel combines each character’s separate voice into one delightful melody. It is a song of hope for the future and reverence of the past.”
Social conversation & book signing: 6:30-7:30pm