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Not even the most terrible brutality can completely destroy the human spirit.
In clear but simple language and beautiful illustrations, this Cambodian children's story communicates a sense of the joy, sadness, injustice and triumph that lives on in young Cambodian Americans. It shows that it is possible to overcome great hardship, and that a single decision can do much to heal one's self and others.
The Cambodian Dancer is the true story of a Cambodian refugee—a dancer and teacher—who built a life in the US after fleeing the Khmer Rouge. She became a counselor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children. Her gift of hope was to teach children in the Cambodian community the traditional dances of Cambodia so that young people growing up far away from the land of their ancestors would know about their culture.
Daryn Reicherter, MD is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a psychiatrist at the Gardner Family Care Corporation's Cambodian Program. He works locally with refugee survivors from around the world. Dr. Reicherter is a specialist in post-traumatic stress in survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime. He is an activist for human rights in the area of war crime through the programs he serves, and beyond.
Christy Hale is an award-winning writer, illustrator and designer of children's book whose work has been honored by Horn Book, the American Library Association, the International Reading Association and others. She is the author and illustrator of Dreaming Up: a Celebration of Building and The East West House, and has illustrated many books celebrating diversity and sustainability as well as creativity in children.