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The Clay Marble

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in The Clay Marble and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

All the People of Khmer Were Very Troubled by Vem Yem
(from Indochina's Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, © 1989)
Summary: In his own words, Vem Yem tells about life before and during the Khmer Rouge regime and the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, and about life in a refugee camp. His story ends on a positive note as he discusses his hopes for the future.

My Life Story by Lan Nguyen
Summary: A survivor of the Vietnam war reflects upon the impact the war has made on her life and speaks of her hopes for the future.

Oppression by Langston Hughes
(from Collected Poems, © 1994)
Summary: Can the dream of freedom be destroyed by the physical realities of oppression?

Birthday Box by Jane Yolen
(from Birthday Surprises: Ten Great Stories to Unwrap, © 1995)
Summary: A cryptic gift from a girl's dying mother helps the girl learn an important lesson about living.

Holes by Lillian Morrison
(from Overheard in a Bubble Chamber, © 1981)
Summary: Nothing can relieve the feelings of emptiness that result from the death of a loved one.

Excerpt from Childhood and Poetry by Pablo Neruda, translated by Robert Bly
(from Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems, © 1971)
Summary: A gift Neruda receives in his youth influences the rest of his life.

All-Ball by Mary Pope Osborne
(from When I was Your Age, © 1996)
Summary: A rubber ball becomes a symbol of the comfort and security a young girl fears will disappear when her father leaves for a tour of duty in Korea.

Dear World, January 17, 1994 by Alma Luz Villanueva
Summary: The speaker considers both the best and the worst the world has to offer and tries to reconcile the two extremes.