(Review) Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness and Peace by Kim Phuc Phan Thi

fire road

Publisher and Publication Date: Tyndale Momentum. October 3, 2017.
Genre: Nonfiction. Autobiography.
Pages: 336.
Source: Library.
Rating: Excellent.
Audience: Readers who love autobiographies, Vietnam war history; and those who want to read about the power of forgiveness and peace.

23 illustrations




Before the spring of 1972, the war seemed far removed from Kim’s village of Trang Bang, Vietnam. Men in black pajamas, strangers, began coming through the village in the night. These men were the Viet Cong. In June 1972, she and her family fled to a temple hoping it was a safe place from a bombing, but a plane flying low dropped a bomb with Napalm. It was during this napalm attack that she was burned. Kim’s story shows a harrowing life from the napalm burning. Her ordeal of the burned skin removal, skin grafting, and no medicine for pain is heartbreaking. The book follows her life through to the end of the war, Cambodian’s Kampucheans, family’s survival, college years, and a chance of escape for a better life.
Kim’s story is a focus on her personally. Her feelings about the burns and its life sentence of pain. But, the story reveals her Christian belief, which includes forgiveness and peace to all people who had caused suffering.

My Thoughts:
Several reasons led me to give this book an excellent rating.
•This is not a political book. Kim’s account of her life is through the lens of reflection. She was an innocent child swept up in a war.
•Kim’s story gave me a view of the Vietnam War from a child’s perspective.
•The burns that Kim had gave me a view of the treatment that was used on her. The treatments that were used are followed through the years. Especially the modern advancement of what can be done medically.
•Kim’s story is ultimately one of hope and peace, despite the suffering of the war and her burns.



One thought on “(Review) Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness and Peace by Kim Phuc Phan Thi

  1. This book reminds me of First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung (set in Cambodia during the Khmer Regime). While the setting is slightly different, the idea of a child having to witness the horrors of war is so disturbing. There is something about telling a story (fiction or non-fiction) from the perspective of a child which makes it much more touching, perhaps because children should be innocent and yet in a world filled with evil, that is rarely the case. I’ll have to check this book out!


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