Weeping Under This Same Moon

FOREWORD BOTYA GOLD MEDAL Winner! Soon to be a feature film!
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ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Gold Medalist, an International Reading Association Notable Book, and Arts Reach Alliance Six City Valley Reads Selection, Weeping Under This Same Moon is based on the true story of two teenage girls from different cultures, whose paths intertwine, dramatically altering the course of their lives.

Mei is an artist whose life has been disrupted by the Vietnam War. Her anguished parents send her away on a perilous escape during the exodus of thousands of Vietnamese refugees known as “Boat People.” In Mei’s words we learn of the dangers she faces caring for her two younger siblings on a sea journey fraught with hunger, thirst and deprivation, leaving behind everything she loves, to find refuge for her family.

Hannah is an angry seventeen-year-old American high school student. Friendless, neurotic, a social misfit – her passion for writing and the environment only intensify her outcast state. Through Hannah’s voice, we get inside her head, there to discover a gentle soul beneath all the anger and turmoil.When Hannah learns of the plight of the “Boat People,” she is moved to action.

Destiny brings Mei and Hannah together in a celebration of cultures and language, food and friendship, and the ultimate rescue of both young women from their own despair. Weeping Under This Same Moon is a testament to the power of love and the spirit of volunteerism; affirming that doing for others does so much for one’s self.

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​“Weeping Under This Same Moon by Jana Laiz is a stunning achievement written with uncanny sympathy from the complementary perspectives of two teenage girls – one a Vietnamese refugee, the other a passionate yet unhappy American high school student – the book vividly portrays very different yet intersecting worlds. heartwarming, even inspiring book. I recommend it enthusiastically to readers of all ages and in particular to young adults.”

George Rupp
President, The International Rescue Committee

“Volunteering can spark an inner joy as Jana Laiz so aptly demonstrates in this compelling and uplifting story. We, at Landmark Volunteers have documented this phenomenon thousands of times: high school volunteers deriving fulfillment and self-respect while serving the greater needs of others. I would recommend Weeping Under This Same Moon to any adult or young person wishing to see what can happen by the simple act of volunteering.”

Ann B. Barrett
Executive Director, Landmark Volunteers

2008 INDIES Winner Gold, Young Adult Fiction (Children's) After the fall of Saigon, nineteen-year-old Mei Phuong escapes Vietnam on an overloaded boat with her younger brother and sister in tow, destination unknown. Conditions onboard deteriorate until Mei sees a woman prepare to leap to her death: “We watch her as if we are watching a play, no one moves to stop her, no one really believing she will do what she obviously is about to do.” Weeping Under This Same Moon by Jana Laiz contrasts Mei’s uncertain life with that of Hannah, a privileged but unhappy teen from Westchester, New York, who blossoms as a volunteer helping Vietnamese newcomers in the Bronx. Hannah’s affection for photography parallels Mei’s passion for painting, but art is a luxury and refugees deny themselves nones-sentials.

Reviewed by Todd Mercer
November 14, 2008

"Through the story of these Vietnamese children and the American girl who befriends them, Jana Laiz shows us how faith and courage can overcome the worst hardship. One comes out of this beautifully written book feeling uplifted, reminding us that hope always springs eternal for all the children of the world."

Emmanuel Dongala, award-winning Author of Little Boys Come From Stars and Johnny Mad Dog