Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘airlift’

Last Airlift Takes Manhattan

Posted on February 11th, 2013 by pajamapress

Bookworm Buddies, the blog of the Manhattan Public Library, recently posted this review of Last Airlift:

“When this book came in, I started flipping through it at my desk because the topic reminded me of a Laotian refugee who was in my class when I was in 2nd grade.  I had to give up my lunch hour to keep reading because I couldn’t put the book down once I started.  Tuyet’s story is so amazing. It beings in a crowded Saigon orphanage in April 1975, where Tuyet was one of the older children who had lived at the orphanage her entire life. She helped care for the little ones and put up with bullies and got along as well as she could despite her leg that was damaged by polio.  On April 11, something scary and amazing happened. The babies from the orphanage were placed in cardboard boxes and put in a car, and Tuyet was called to go along with them. She did not know where she was going or why.  American soldiers then packed all the babies into a huge airplane. Tuyet did not think she would be going in, too, but then a woman carried her to the plane that she said would take her away from the war to safety.  Significantly, this Hercules plane was the last Canadian “babylift” to leave Saigon with refugees.  And this is just the beginning of Tuyet’s adventure, full of frightening new things and sounds, language she did not understand, and little to comfort her.  Luckily, Tuyet was adopted into a loving family and given a new chance in life…”—Jennifer

Click here to read the full review.

Flying Off My Bookshelf reviews Last Airlift

Posted on December 17th, 2012 by pajamapress

This is a simple little biography/history. It’s the story of a Vietnamese girl, one of the last to be rescued as the North Vietnamese army marched into Saigon. It’s easy enough for a younger reader to understand and while it doesn’t soften the harsh realities, there’s nothing too graphic. It focuses mostly on Tuyet’s emotions and adjustment to living in Canada with a family.

Click here to read the full review.

Booklist says One Step at a Time “will grip readers”

Posted on December 1st, 2012 by pajamapress

In this sequel to Last Airlift (2012), Vietnamese orphan Tuyet, now rooted and happy in her adoptive Toronto family, is terrified of the surgery she has to undergo to straighten her leg and ankle, which were left twisted from the polio she contracted in Saigon. As she lies in the hospital recovering from the operation, her leg in “cement,” she is haunted by nightmares of the past and by her fear of losing her present home. Is there something she has done to upset Mom and Dad? Are they sending her away? Unable to speak English, she cannot ask for help in the hospital, and her confusion about what is happening now forms the story’s drama. Occasional black-and-white photos show Tuyet at home in Toronto with her loving parents and siblings. Along with the true personal story, the facts about polio across the globe, past and present, will grip readers.— Hazel Rochman

The Nonfiction Detectives discover Last Airlift

Posted on November 27th, 2012 by pajamapress

…Readers will immediately be drawn in from the very first page. The book only covers Tuyet’s journey by airplane from Saigon to Toronto, Canada and her adoption to a new family who loves her very much. When Tuyet is flying to Canada, another orphan, Linh, gives her some advise. Whenever someone asks you something in English, answer, No. That will stop them from doing what they were going to do. The last three chapters are most touching as we learn just how patient Tuyet’s new family is as they learn how to communicate with each other. (They do not speak Vietnamese) Some of the changes in Tuyet’s life were difficult. For instance, Tuyet was used to sleeping with all the other orphans on the floor at the orphanage, she is unable to adjust to sleeping alone in a bed in her own bedroom.

Historic black & white photographs, including some of Tuyet, enhance the reading experience.

In a historic note, Skrypuch briefly explains the rescue operation. In her Author’s note, we learn that Tuyet currenly lives in Skrypuch’s hometown of Brantford, Ontario. It is great to see Tuyet as a grown up woman.

Click here to read the full review.

Marsha Skrypuch at Blessed Kateri School

Posted on November 5th, 2012 by pajamapress

On October 29, 2012, Marsha Skrypuch and Tuyet Yurczyszyn (Nee Son Thi Anh Tuyet) visited Blessed Kateri School to talk about Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War and One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way, two non-fiction books that Marsha wrote about Tuyet’s dramatic childhood. The event was such a success that it was featured in the London District Catholic School Board’s Spotlight newsletter for November, 2012.

Click here and scroll down to the middle of the newsletter to read the story and see some great pictures.

 

Redeemed Reader calls Last Airlift “alternately gripping and touching”

Posted on September 5th, 2012 by pajamapress

“[Tuyet's] degree of deprivation can be eye-opening for the children of prosperous America, as well as an accessible introduction to this part of American history.  (As somebody who was draft age at the time, it’s still hard for me to think of the Vietnam War as “history”!)”
–Janie, Redeemed Reader

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s Book News calls Last Airlift”Thought-provoking, heartrending and inspirational”

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by pajamapress

“Thought-provoking, heartrending and inspirational, author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s first non-fiction book chronicles one woman’s account of a little-known piece of Canadian history: the Ontario government-sponsored Operation “Babylift.”

In April 1975, South Vietnamese orphans were airlifted from Saigon and flown to Ontario where they were adopted by Canadian families. This military maneuver saved interracial babies (with American blood) and disabled children from being killed… Written from the perspective of eight-year-old Tuyet, who is crippled from polio, the book gives the reader vivid insight into life in a Saigon orphanage where children never see the sky and subsist amidst a soundtrack of warfare. Tuyet’s story reveals not only the privations and misplacement caused by war but the assumptions made by well-meaning people about the desirability of Western customs and middle-class values. Plentiful food, her own room and her first family initially cause Tuyet mistrust, discomfort and even terror.

This simply written but masterfully perceptive story of human resilience and courage belongs on every school and public library shelf. Although it could be read aloud to Grade 3 students and independently by Grades 4 to 8 students (e.g., for social studies or language units), the narrative easily captures an adult. Forchuk Skrypuch, who has received numerous awards for her historical novels, enriches this slender book with photos and official documents. Historical and author’s notes, detailing relevant background to Tuyet’s plight and the author’s research methods, make engaging additions alongside a list of further resources and an index.”

–Aliki Tryphonopoulos

Last Airlift reviewed inBulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Posted on May 25th, 2012 by pajamapress

“…Skrypuch, who originally intended Tuyet’s experience to take the form of a novel, opted instead for a nonfiction presentation as interviews helped Tuyet reclaim many of her early memories and participate in retelling her own story. This biographical approach helps to humanize a war that, for most readers, may seem like ancient history, and the tight focus on the airlift and Tuyet’s first days with the Morrises reminds readers that they are sharing the experiences of an agemate.” –Elizabeth Bush

Click here to read the full review.

An Interview with Last Airlift author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

In this interview Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch discusses Last Airlift, its upcoming sequel, and the merits of children’s non-fiction on Nash Holos Ukranian Roots Radio in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Listen to the interview here.

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Last Airlift

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by pajamapress

…Tuyet becomes a heroine of her own story, using her fortitude, observations, and humanity to navigate the new territories outside of the orphanage and to make herself fit in.

Read the Full Review Here