St. Croix Valley ‘Big Read’ offers ways to connect with community through shared book

Join your St. Croix Valley neighbors in reading The Latehomecomer and celebrate the arts with activities related to the themes of the book.




2 minute read

Via ArtReach St. Croix:

Join neighbors from throughout the St. Croix Valley in reading The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang. In June 2021, we will celebrate the arts with activities related to themes found in the book. See for reader resources and discussion questions.

Find the book at your local library, including book club kits. Free “Read & Release” copies are available from ArtReach St. Croix.

Or, buy your own copy for 15% off at Valley Bookseller in Stillwater or Chapter2Books in Hudson.


Attend book discussions, speakers, virtual theatre performances and other Big Read events scheduled between May 20 & June 27, 2021.

See the full event listings here.

About the author and book

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American author, film-maker, and teacher; she is also a co-founder of ‘Words Wanted,’ a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. Her work is passionate and eloquent as she seeks to deepen the understanding of the human condition in order to garner more compassion in the world.

Kalia was born in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in 1980. She and her family came to Minnesota as refugees in the summer of 1987, and her first book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, reflects upon this move. It is a first-hand account of the journey that many Hmong had to make from place to place in order to find “home.”

A review by Publishers Weekly praises Kalia, “Yang tells her family’s story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture.”

The Latehomecomer was the winner of two Minnesota Book Awards, a finalist for the PEN USA Award, earned a NEA Big Read title, and is the best selling book in Coffee House Press history. It is the first Hmong-authored book to gain national distribution from a literary press.


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St. Croix Valley ‘Big Read’ offers ways to connect with community through shared book