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The Stone Goddess

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  246 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
In "The Stone Goddess," award-winning author Minfong Ho tells the story of Sophy's struggles during the 1980s Communist takeover of Cambodia.

When Sophy and her older siblings are ripped away from their family by the cruel Khmer Rouge and sent to work in a children's labor camp, Sophy bears witness to innumerable tragedies, paying too dear a price. After the Vietnamese army
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Orchard (first published 2003)
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Sophie Zapoli
While the full brutal horrors of the Khmer Rouge weren't fully exposed to give younger readers an intro slight glimpse of what the people of Cambodia suffered without destroying their innocence, this still had a lasting impact that will remain with me for many years after I finished the last page, a message of resounding hope through even the darkest years in our history. Its' account triumphs through its' sheer beauty like the dancing apsaras through the churning sea that became the focal point ...more
I really enjoyed reading this multicultural book. It seemed like it was historical fiction as well because it was based on the Vietnam War and the fight against communism. I was really emotionally attached to this book and I felt for the Cambodian refugees. I have never had an experience like that but my father served a mission where there were many Cambodian refugees and this might be what their story might be like. Also, any immigrant could feel the way this family did when they came to the Un ...more
Ms. Erin
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad and touching story about a family torn apart during the Cambodia Civil War.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Ann
The Stone Goddess also follows a child sent to labor camps by the Khmer Rouge, but this story follows Nakri, a 12-year old living in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Nakri's family fled the city when the soldiers invade, going to live with her grandparents in a small village. But they were still not safe. She was forced to go to a labor camp with her older sister and brother. Nakri's sister was trained in classical Cambodian dance, and this beautiful, almost spiritual dance provided an emotional ...more
Justin Padilla
The Stone Goddess is about a Cambodian girl named Nakri who is taken away from her mother, father, grandmother, and grandfather. But her older brother and sister, Boran and Teeda were taken with her to go work in the rice feild for their new government. This book takes place in Cambodia, Asia and the setting is dry, with a lot of fice fields. Nakri's main internal conflict is that she has to deal with being seperated from her family and home, especially her sister (hint, hint). Nakri's main ext ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cambodia in the 1970's. The Khmer Rouge has taken over bringing communism to the country. From Nakri Sokha and her family, it means fleeing from their home in the capital city of Phnom Penh. They flee to her grandparents' village where they first learn of the New Society. Her father is taken away by soldiers, and she and her older brother and sister are forced into a labor camp. After several years and many hardships, their family is reunited different than before. They flee to Thailand as refug ...more
Linda Prieskorn
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic YP novel. Why it didn't make more of an impact is beyond me. It tells the struggle of one Cambodian girl and her family as the Khmer Rouge over take the country. One horrific fact - 1/4 of the Cambodian population died during this time. In equivalency terms that same as 15 9/11's happening every day for 4 years. 2 million out of 8 million died, beaten, killed, starved or died from the sheer exhaustion of working in concentration camps.

This highlights one of my major soap box
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TCL call number: J Ho

no rating

I was captivated by this book -- I couldn't stop reading it until I finished it. It is a story told by the main character, Nakri (first person narrative), about her life in Cambodia, growing up during the terrifying reign of the Communist Khmer rouge, and her family's eventual migration to the United States. This book gives a very realistic glimpse into the life of a family immigrating to the U.S.
Nakri's story tells of the "long dark years of living in terror unde
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Youth and adults
My daughter choose to read this for a school project on understanding developing countries and we both enjoyed it and were educated by it. There is a beautiful story in this book about the love of sisters and families (it's not all sad)and I loved reading about the author's life at the back. How do genocides occur like the one the Cambodian Khmer Rouge committed (or Sudan or Rwanda)without a lot of notice by the world? It made me think of the Camobidan refugee who came to school knowing no Engli ...more
Ian Tymms
Lovely story of Cambodian girl Nakri who is training in the footsteps of her older sister to be a classical dancer. The Khmer Rouge turn their world upside down and Nakri spends the next few years in a "work camp". The novel depicts the tragedy and horror of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge but manages also to find beauty and hope in its conclusions. Ho has a way of facing up to the realities of history without becoming fatalistic or pessimistic. A novel I would encourage my Middle School students ...more
Mikko Peralta
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a touching story of a little girl in Khmer Rouge Cambodia and how, as the story unfolded, she lost a number of her family members.

The book somehow reminds me of S. Javellana's Without Seeing the Dawn which documents the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

It is just because there was nothing much happening on the first 90 to 100 pages of the book, which made me doubt a 5 so I'm giving it a 4.

Well written.
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this YA historical fiction narrative in one night. It beautifully paints a picture of a young girl's experience surviving the 1970s civil war in Cambodia and the resulting horrors and triumphs. I was touched by the family relationships and account of the protagonist's arrival as a refugee in the United States. This is a great primer for anyone who wants an engaging, personal account of what it meant to be Cambodian at this time.
Stephanie A.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A powerful, moving story set against a background I'd never read about in detail. It splits the difference between their harsh homeland the confusion of transplanting to America very well, something that really impressed me since I'm often left cold and unmoved by multicultural stories. This reached across the divide and made me appreciate something completely different from my perception of life.
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really amazing book. Covers the Khmer Rouge genocide and a family's subsequent settling in the US through the eyes of a young girl in a compassionate, artful way. As someone who works with refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants, I would very highly recommend this book to a YA reader or anyone else.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abstract, cambodia
This was an extremely moving story which made me fall into the character's shoes .Nakri's voice was passionate and touching.Throughout
the book Nakri tries to maintain the beautiful heritage and culture of her country.From beginning to end,Nakri showed courage and emotion.Overall,
this was an excellent book
Conley Morris
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked The Stone Goddess,but it wasn't what I expected.
It was very enchanting and special in a way. This book made
me sad because I felt like the character in the book. I think
the author wrote this book in a special way that makes people
laugh, cry, and feel happy and sad at different times. I'm glad I
read this book.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
children's historical fiction takes on the Khmer Rouge. touching story of 2 sisters who leave Phnom Penh when the Khmer Rouge takes over. They move with their family to their grandparents village and are then relocated to a worker's camp. Their love for and training in classical Cambodian dance keeps them focused. Suitable for younger readers.
Settlement in the U.S. is confusing and difficult for Nakri but she soon finds solace in learning to play the flute and reacquainting herself with the classical Cambodian dance her mother had taught her. Description of apsaras (dancing goddesses) and classic Cambodian dance make this different from similar Cambodian stories. I didn't find the sense of fear and tragedy fully realized.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As part of my quest to find good independent reading books for my students, I've read a lot of young adult immigrant literature. The Stone Goddess fits perfectly in that genre and works well for that purpose. There's nothing about it that particularly stood out from that mold but it would be a great addition to the classroom library, especially if you have Cambodian students.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for my history class, we had to pick a book about a country in asia that took place within the last century, I choose this book. It was amazing, I don't want to spoil the plot but it's about a girl and her family during the khmer rouge.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, moving account of life in Cambodia. It did not detail the killing fields or some of the more grizzly parts of Pol Pot's reign of terror, but it brought me closer to an area I am not familiar with and brought to mind our similarities.
May 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: Jeans
Shelves: young-adult
Great YA fic about a family that overcomes the hardships of life during the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia. Loved the way it used dance to discuss the importance of courage and joy during difficult times.
East Library UWCSEA
After the Communists take over Cambodia and her family is torn from their city life, twelve-year-old Nakri and her older sister attempt to maintain their hope as well as their classical dancing skills in the midst of their struggle to survive. [Library of Congress summary]
Apr 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't know anything about Cambodia and it's revolutions until reading this book. I wish it had gone into more detail as to the why's and background etc. However, it is written from a child's perspective so it has a child's understanding of the events.
Terri Domenech
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A different time and place but this book transports the reader almost instantly. I didn't think it was captivating but I read it in 2 days. We are ignorant as a culture to struggles going on around us. This book brings to light that ignorance.
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school
fantastic YA fiction on important themes of the khmer rouge in cambodia, refugee camps, and eventually immigration to america - all while keeping the spirit of the stone goddess alive.

couldn't put it down. fantastic.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a young readers book about a Cambodian family during the horrible Khmer Rouge massacres. The sister are traditional dancers and attempt to preserve this part of their identity as the world crumbles around them.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
My version of this book is called Gathering the Dew, which seems a more appropriate title than The Stone Goddess. I will be reading this book with 7th grade students next year. I hope they will find it as interesting and moving as I did.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is very good. It talks about the Khmer Rouge and people effected by this. It should definitely be considered as a choice of books, if you are looking into this area.
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Minfong Ho is an award-winning Chinese-American writer. Her works frequently deal with the lives of people living in poverty in Southeast Asian countries.
More about Minfong Ho...

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“Extra' was a very American word. Americans seemed to have extras of everything.” 3 likes
“He tried to press the machine into my hands, but I stepped back. He was getting too close, and besides, I didn't know what this meant. Was he trying to sell me the machine? Was he giving it to me? I had heard that in America, if a girl accepted a ring from a boy, it meant she would marry him. What about accepting a tape-playing machine? Did it mean I might have to dance with him?” 2 likes
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