A Hmong Boy's Story

A Hmong Boy's Story



One of the universal truths about the human race is the desire to have a better life for their children. Yakao Yang in his book “A Hmong Boy’s Story” takes us back to the mountains in Laos where he struggled to get an education with the support and encouragement of his parents. The backdrop of this story is a country at war and the Hmong people constantly move to find a safe place to live. Yang is able to weave the Hmong traditions, folk tales and everyday life of the people into the story of his struggle to get an education. His commitment and focus allow him to eventually graduate with a Bachelor’s degree with a year of service in France. Upon the fall of the country to the Communists, the family entered the refugee camps in Thailand and finally come to America. Yang gives an insight that no other Hmong person can, since education was not considered important at the time. It is that education that opens our window to the past.


1.    Striving for an education. Walking long distances bare foot to go to school.    

2.    Living with relatives and strangers to attend elementary school.

3.    Teaches at 12 years of age in a refugee camp when there is a shortage of teachers.

4.    The fourth Hmong student to attend the Teachers College.

5.    Finds his bride the traditional way.

6.    Works in factory in US and then is able to send all of his children to college.