the girl
whose mother lives in the sky
Mari Truong
A FIERCE RADIANCE: Mari Truong stands on the playground at the Southeast Asian Preschool. Although she is still very young, Mari already seems to look at the world through the eyes of someone who will never surrender.

They are children of fire, the youngest members of Southeast Asian refugee families who have come to America after enduring war and chaos. Only 3 or 4 years old, they must learn to adapt to their new country. So every day, they ride a bus to a small preschool in St. Petersburg. Now it is up to Mrs. Crow and others at the school to teach these children a new language, the mysteries of a new culture and some basic lessons about themselves and the outside world. But time is short, and the challenge overwhelming. Can it be done?
STORY BY THOMAS FRENCH • PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHERIE DIEZ • OF THE TIMES STAFF
Chapter One: Never-Never Land

Chapter Three: Grace and Wonder

Chapter Two: Good Morning, Mrs. Chip

Chapter Four: Falling Rain

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