The Best We Could Do

The Best We Could Do

An Illustrated Memoir

Graphic Novel - 2017
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The author describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family's move from their war-torn home to the United States in graphic novel format.
Publisher: New York : Abrams Comicarts, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
Branch Call Number: B B9324.be
Characteristics: 327 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781419718779
1419718770

Opinion

From Library Staff

Not just another immigrant story but one rich in details and nuance. The struggles and horrors of the Vietnam War remain a constant in Bui's new life in America, but she doesn't allow it to overcome her chance to strike out on a new trajectory, armed with the love and respect of her family.


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s
sandraperkins
Apr 14, 2019

This is the first graphic novel I have ever read. It is possible to read this book quickly, as there are relatively few words among all the pictures, but the story is very powerful. It is also timely, as there are so many refugees in the world today, fleeing war, violence, climate change disaster, etc.

I wept reading this book, as this family suffered so much hardship over the years. The children were able to achieve success in this country, but they were not unscathed.

As I read this book, I thought about what an easy life I have had by comparison. Those of us who were born into middle class (or better) lives in the US truly won the birth lottery. Whatever troubles we have are miniscule compared to those of most people in the world.

The Best We Could Do gives us insights into the refugee/immigrant experience. As we listen to the anti-immigrant vitriol spewing from the mouths of some of our leaders (most of which is outright lies), we are lucky to have books like these to tell the stories of people coming to the US from other lands. Immigrants are NOT criminals and terrorists; they are people just like us. They are NOT coming here because they want to take US jobs. Only unspeakable horrors would drive people to risk their lives and the lives of their children to leave home and all that is familiar, to come to a new place where people are hostile to them.

c
courtws
Mar 26, 2019

DNF. Lost interest on page 77 and returned the book.

e
eliseondet
Mar 11, 2019

A story that sheds some light on the long-lasting impacts of being a refugee, an immigrant and having lived through years of war. A must-read as our empathy for refugees is very low these days

d
danielpslavik
Jan 22, 2019

July Bookclub Book

OPL_MichelleC Jan 17, 2019

Such an important and empathetic graphic memoir about Thi Bui's journey to understand her Vietnamese family and their immigration to the United States from South Vietnam.

s
SakuraRose
Nov 15, 2018

Such an amazing story, thought-provoking about the refugee story and life as a new mother building a new family.

s
SakuraRose
Nov 15, 2018

Such an amazing story, thought-provoking about the refugee story and life as a new mother building a new family.

v
val_fromsocal
Oct 30, 2018

A great read that entices you with the characters. This is the first graphic novel that I've finished reading and have a deep interest in it.

OPL_KrisC Jul 31, 2018

A moving graphic novel memoir about one family's immigration journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States and the daughter's subsequent life adjusting to first-time motherhood years later. The art is captivating and the story just draws you in and doesn't let go.

ArapahoeApril Jul 18, 2018

As Thi Bui has her first son, she reflects on what her parents sacrificed to give her and her siblings a better life. A story about family and bonds that can never be broken. Bui gives an honest portayal of what it was like living in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and having to seek refuge in America. Beautifully illustrated and told.

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SakuraRose
Nov 15, 2018

"However much my body wanted to rest, a force pulled me onto my feet with clear and simple directive KEEP HIM ALIVE"

s
SakuraRose
Nov 15, 2018

"What has worried me since having my own child was whether I would pass along some gene for sorrow or unintentionally inflict damage I could never undo. But when I look at my son, now ten years old, I don't see war and loss or Travis and me. I see a new life bound with mine quite by coincidence and I think maybe he can be free"

JCLCherylMY May 19, 2018

"That being my father's child, I, too, was a product of war ... and being my mother's child, I could never measure up to her. But maybe being their child simply means that I will always feel the weight of their past. Nothing that happened makes me special. But my life is a gift that is too great -- a debt I can never repay." pg. 325.

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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