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Fair Oaks Elementary hosts Minnesota author for students, families

Fair Oaks Elementary hosts Minnesota author for students, families

Fair Oaks Elementary School invited Minnesota author, public speaker and teacher Kao Kalia Yang to the school March 21 for both students and families to hear some of her latest books and learn about her life and story. 

Ms. Yang reads to a group of students

 

Yang has published many books over the past 15 years, including five children's books and three memoirs about her family history and her early years in Thailand’s Ban Vinai refugee camp. Yang grew up in St. Paul’s East Side after moving from the refugee camp at age seven. 

Yang said she was excited to visit a school with rich diversity like Fair Oaks. 

“I was moved by the hands that went up during the Q&A,” Yang said. “Fair Oaks students were curious and engaged in the books I was reading and the writer before them. It was moving.”

author Kao Kalia Yang speaks to the group of students and parents

 

Yang released two books in March: the memoir “Where Rivers Part: A Story of my Mother’s Life” and her latest children’s book “The Rock in my Throat,” which she read to the school’s fourth and fifth grade students.

Grades 1-3 heard her book “From the Tops of Trees,” which is a children’s book about her own childhood climbing trees with her father in the refugee camp.

Ms. Yang poses with three Fair Oaks students

 

Last year, one of Yang’s books became the first Hmong story adapted to opera when the Minnesota Opera debuted an opera based on her memoir “The Song Poet.” Her work has received critical acclaim from many organizations in the literary world, such as the Alan Page Scholarship, multiple Minnesota Book Awards for memoir/creative fiction and a Reader’s Choice Award, a PEN USA literary award in nonfiction and a Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, among others. 

Learn more about Kao Kalia Yang and her work