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Jamie Jo
Award Winning Author
Young Adult Novelist
Travels from: Houston, Texas

“Hoang does a skillful job in capturing multigenerational trauma with Jane’s teenage angst and Phúc’s damaging voyage.” — The Horn Book

Jamie Jo Hoang is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees. She grew up in Orange County, CA—not the rich part—and worked as a docuseries producer before shifting to writing full-time. Her debut young adult novel, MY FATHER, THE PANDA KILLER, was chosen as one of the best books of the year by the Amazon Editor’s and NPR’s Books We Love. MY FATHER, THE PANDA KILLER was also a Freeman Book Awards Honorable Mention title.

Hoang is also the author of the award-winning adult novel BLUE SUN, YELLOW SKY, which was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Reviews and won a silver medal at the Independent Publishers Awards.

Her work has been published in TIME, SALON, and Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges. When she’s not writing, Hoang loves to take long walks, travel, and scuba dive. She currently resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband and son in a house covered in Post-It Notes.

Jamie Jo's Featured Titles

My Father, The Panda Killer

Crown Books for Young Readers |
Young Adult

A poignant coming-of-age story told in two alternating voices: a California teenager railing against the Vietnamese culture, juxtaposed with her father as an eleven-year-old boat person on a harrowing and traumatic refugee journey from Vietnam to the United States.

“A profoundly moving, achingly resonant story of love, family, and coming of age amid the lingering echoes of war; a luminous tapestry woven from the many threads of American dreams.”

―Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King and In the Wild Light

San Jose, 1999. Jane knows her Vietnamese dad can’t control his temper. Lost in a stupid daydream, she forgot to pick up her seven-year-old brother, Paul, from school. Inside their home, she hands her dad the stick he hits her with. This is how it’s always been. She deserves this. Not because she forgot to pick up Paul, but because at the end of the summer she’s going to leave him when she goes away to college. As Paul retreats inward, Jane realizes she must explain where their dad’s anger comes from. The problem is, she doesn’t quite understand it herself.

Đà Nẵng, 1975. Phúc (pronounced /fo͞ok/, rhymes with duke) is eleven the first time his mother walks him through a field of mines he’s always been warned never to enter. Guided by cracks of moonlight, Phúc moves past fallen airplanes and battle debris to a refugee boat. But before the sun even has a chance to rise, more than half the people aboard will perish. This is only the beginning of Phúc’s perilous journey across the Pacific, which will be fraught with Thai pirates, an unrelenting ocean, starvation, hallucination, and the unfortunate murder of a panda.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Phúc, My Father, The Panda Killer is an unflinching story about war and its impact across multiple generations, and how one American teenager forges a path toward accepting her heritage and herself.

Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

Jamie Hoang |
Coming of Age Fiction

Hailed as “One of the best technical painters of our time” by an L.A. Times critic, 27-year-old Aubrey Johnson is finally gaining traction with her work. But as she weaves through what should be a celebration of her art, a single nagging echo of her doctor’s words refuses to stay silent-there is no cure. In less than eight weeks Aubrey is going blind. Traveling on a one-way ticket around the world with childhood friend Jeff Anderson, Aubrey is in complete denial. But a blindfolded game of tasting foreign foods in China jolts her into confronting the reality of her situation. So begins her quest. In this adult coming-of-age story, Aubrey struggles to make sense of her crippling diagnosis. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life-sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth.



In this raw and unflinching talk, Jamie Jo Hoang delves into the overlooked narratives that history often neglects—the profound tales of real individuals. Using the backdrop of the Vietnam War, she illuminates how her experience of studying Vietnam’s history in an American History class shaped how she saw—and didn’t see—herself.



Jamie shares her journey of confronting the domestic abuse she endured, revealing how she unintentionally manipulated her own reality to downplay her trauma. The turning point came during a college documentary project that magnified, on a colossal 100-foot screen, the stark reality of how far from “fine” she truly was.



In this interactive discussion, Hoang shares her experiences conducting writing workshops for incarcerated youth. She opens up about embracing vulnerability in her own creative endeavors, a quality she encouraged in her students. The exchange of fears, joys, traumas, and hopes became the powerful threads binding the participants together

Jamie’s article on discovering joy link

Jamie’s article on assimilation link

Jamie’s interview with Houston Public Media link

Jamie’s Events link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Shortlisted for the 2024-2025 Panda Book Awards
NPR’S Books We Love 2023
Amazon Best Children’s Books of the Month
Amazon Editor’s Best Young Adult Books of 2023
Freeman Book Awards Honorable Mention

KIRKUS REVIEWS Best Books of 2015
KirKus Reviews Indie Book of the Month
Silver Medalist at the Independent Publisher’s Awards

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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