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Publisher's Summary

This remarkable novel from Thanhhà Lại, New York Times best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.

©2015 Thanhha Lai (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wendi
  • Oswego, IL, United States
  • 11-05-17

May be better read in text

Whilel I enjoyed the story, I was very distracted by the reading of it. I often imagined other ways to read the same words. The narrator read the protagonist's point of view as too "valley girl" for me. That being said, I loved the way she read the other characters' words. Hearing the Vietnamese language was beautiful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book

This book is a sweet, sweet portrait of the journey through life and its complications.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome narrator brings Vietnam to life

that's awesome narrator captures not only the Vietnamese accents and words of the story but also the teenage angst of a young girl who spends her summers away from home against her will to appease her parents and grandmother.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent reader

I loved this book! I purchase the paper book for my daughters I wonder how much they will enjoy it, I worry the names will be tough to get into but this reader made it easy, her accents were wonder and each character was distinct. I will look for this reader again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm glad my husband bought me this book.

What made the experience of listening to Listen, Slowly the most enjoyable?

Both the story and the narrator provided a pleasant performance and experience. It certainly brought my own family memories up and somewhat parallels my upbringing. I felt like I was laughing at myself at that age. We were all so melodramatic at that age about such silly things.

What other book might you compare Listen, Slowly to and why?

I would compare this to books where individuals go back to their countries to learn about who they are and where they come from. None, however, were fictional.

What about Lulu Lam’s performance did you like?

She has a great voice, her pronunciation going between Vietnamese and American raised Vietnamese was really delightful. Her portrayal of the American raised tween was fun and made me smile a lot.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not sure.

Any additional comments?

None, I am interested in the authors other published works.