Awards for Tangled Threads
2003 Junior Library Guild Selection
IRA Notable Book for Global Society
New York Public Library "Top 100 Books"
Connecticut Book Award
Boston Author's Club Award: Finalist
BookSense Great Title for Ages 9-12
Skipping Stones Honor Book
TANGLED THREADS REVIEWS
*Publishers Weekly, 9/22/03, Starred Review with Cover Photo. "First time novelist Shea deftly traces the physical and emotional journey of a 13-year-old orphan from Laos, who is assimilated into American Society. ... While eloquently expressing how the threads tying Mai Yang to her heritage become entangled with new values, the author creates a delicate, credible balance between sorrow and joy, and builds dramatic tension as Mai Yang struggles to become American without losing her Hmong identify. Besides learning much about the Hmong culture, readers gain an opportunity to observe American society from a different vantage point as Mai Yang is inundated with sometimes disturbing, sometimes remarkable images of contemporary culture."
Minneapolis Star Tribune: with cover photo. "...Is it possible, or even desirable, to remain a "good Hmong" in a country where the values so often conflict with the ones Mai has always known? Through a range of characters, Shea shows that this question has different answers; and she manages to lend a measure of dignity to each one, whether the choice is to stick with tradition, abandon it altogether or, as Mai does, position oneself somewhere in between." Christine Hepperman
VOYA: "...There have been many young adult novels about East and Southeast Asians adjusting to life in the West in recent years, but few as engaging as this one. Mai is a delightful protagonist and Shea adeptly uses her first person narration to fully engage the reader in Mai's struggle.... Librarians with Hmong patrons should purchase multiple copies, although the book is good enough to be enjoyed by any middle school student." Michael Levy
School Library Journal: "...this bittersweet story balances social and intellectual pursuits against the strained relations of a family tapping roots into a new homeland....A good choice for classes studying refugees, multicultural diversity, immigration, Hmong Americans, Laos, and the Vietnam War." Alison Follos.
Booklist: "As seen through Mai's eyes, the wry observations of American habits are amusing and insightful. Her explanations of Hmong culture fit so naturally into the narrative, most readers will not need the appended glossary and information. Respectful and dutiful, yet resilient and independent, Mai wrestles with peer pressure and family expectations in a story that will resonate with immigrant students and enlighten others." Linda Perkins
Kirkus: "...Shea's text successfully portrays the turmoil, excitement, and heartbreak of adjusting to a new country."
Journal Inquirer: "The awards that Pegi Deitz Shea won for her moving picture book, The Whispering Cloth may soon have companions on her wall. ...Shea is good at depicting the sad conditions in the refugee camp, but she's nothing short of brilliant in portraying the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frightening, and sometimes baffling moments that Mai experiences in adapting to modern American society. Shea's particularly skillful at conveying how Mai, who has long relied on her grandmother to make decisions, now becomes the dominant figure in the relationship, because she adjusts faster to their new life...."
Hartford Courant: "Flip" Semi-Annual Book Review. TANGLED THREADS chosen as one of only ten recommended books as gifts for the holidays.