Hieu Pham-Fraser

H. Pham-Fraser has worked as an educator for over twenty-five years. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education, and diplomas and certificates for English Language Learning and reading intervention. She has taught in elementary, secondary and university settings. She currently works as a school administrator in the Metro Vancouver area. 

Pham-Fraser wrote The Little Girl because she saw a need for all members of our societies to understand that name is identity. Many groups and institutions put pressure on individuals to change or anglicize their names. After watching this simple, everyday imposition negatively affecting her students, she made the decision to share her own story. The book has already helped elementary, secondary, and university students critically think how they welcome others who don’t look like them, speak like them, or have the same cultures as they do. Pham-Fraser believes that anti-racism work starts within us first and that stories can open our minds and hearts to what is possible. She lives in Richmond, B.C., with her son, husband, and their beloved dog, Cocoa.

Your book, The Little Girl, explores the impact of implicit racism on young children. What do you hope educators and students alike can learn from your work?

I wrote this book so that educators can understand how structural racism looks like and sounds like in the classroom. The story follows the perspective of the little girl so that educators can empathize what the impact must feel like. For students, I had hoped that students who have experienced something like this can find comfort in knowing they are not alone. That within all of us, including those who have been harmed, is internal courage and resilience. For all students and educators, I hope that this book can be springboard for reflective and critical thinking, journaling, and discussions.

What was the process of writing a children’s book like? Do you have any future writing plans?

 I love writing for children! I didn’t realize I would like it so much. There was so much to learn and I loved working with everyone I met. I do have ideas percolating for another book as I see so many ways that we can welcome children and ensure they feel a sense of belonging in our diverse communities. My day job seems to be very busy though…so we will just have to see!