This little picture book biography is about an extraordinary person. To read it is to discover a joy that has the power to overcome hardship.

Successful comedian Anh Do nearly didn’t make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. Anh’s life in Australia also started off badly as he was a small boy who didn’t speak English. But he never stopped smiling and went on to achieve his dreams.

Anh’s story shows how it is possible to hope against all odds, and that with the help of a loving family, good can be attained from any hardship. Adults too will not be able to read it without shedding a tear, but they must also read The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir to get the full story. What an incredible person.

Clare Cannon is the editor of and the manager of Portico Books in Sydney.

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Clare Cannon lives in Sydney where she is editor of The Good Reading Guide and manager of Portico Books,...