Born in a small farming village, Pao was destined to be a Hmong clan leader, wedding negotiator, or shaman. But the course of his life changed dramatically in the 1970s, when the Hmong faced persecution for their role in helping US forces fighting communism in the region. After more than two years in Thai refugee camps, Pao and his surviving family members boarded the belly of an “iron eagle” bound for the United States, where he pictured a new life of comfort and happiness. Instead, Pao found himself navigating a frightening and unfamiliar world, adjusting to a string of new schools and living situations while struggling to fulfill the hopes his parents had once held for his future. Now in Modern Jungles, Pao Lor shares his inspiring coming-of-age tale about perseverance, grit, and hope.