The Best We Could Do

2018-2019 Common Reading Book


Book Cover for The Best We Could Do

The Best We Could Do

By Thi Bui

A bestselling National Book Critics Circle Finalist, Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do offers an evocative memoir about the search for a better future by seeking to understand the past. The book is a marvelous visual narrative that documents the story of the Bui family escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves as refugees in America. Both personal and universal, the book explores questions of community and family, home and healing, identity and heritage through themes ranging from the refugee experience to parenting and generational changes.



Thi Bui Author Portrait

About the Author

Thi Bui is an author, illustrator, artist, and educator. Bui was born in Vietnam three months before the end of the Vietnam War and came to the United States in 1978 as part of a wave of refugees from Southeast Asia. Bui taught high school in New York City and was a founding teacher of Oakland International High School, the first public high school in California for recent immigrants and English learners. She has taught in the MFA in Comics program at California College for the Arts since 2015. The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, 2017) is her debut graphic novel. She is currently researching a work of graphic nonfiction about climate change in Vietnam.