Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam War’

Orange Marmalade calls Adrift at Sea a “stunning book” that “conveys exceptionally well just what refugee children endure”

Posted on June 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“This stunning book tells the story of Tuan Ho, who at age 6 was forced to flee Vietnam with his mother and sisters….

His flight would be traumatic: terror, grief, gunfire, strangers, and perilous days adrift at sea. This taut account conveys exceptionally well just what refugee children endure, enlarging our compassion and will to be among those who welcome, comfort, and receive them today.

Deines’ brilliant paintings easily carry the weight of this story and knit our hearts to Tuan’s family. An afterword, accompanied by some personal photographs from Tuan, provides background to the exodus of the ‘boat people’ from Vietnam and tells more about Tuan’s family’s journey.”

Click here to read the full review

Smithsonian Book Dragon says Adrift at Sea is “[f]illed with urgency, fear, and ultimately hope”

Posted on May 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“Prodigious Canadian author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has built an admirable, award-winning reputation by writing about difficult subjects for younger readers, including the Armenian genocide, world wars, and Canadian internment….

In her latest picture book, Skrypuch presents then-6-year-old Tuan Ho who, with his mother and two older sisters, leave their Ho Chi Minh City home in the darkness of night, and dodge gunshots to board a fishing boat….With a rich palette of deep, vibrant colors, artist Brian Deines adds swirling desperation and swift motion across every detailed spread.

…Filled with urgency, fear, and ultimately hope, Tuan’s real-life odyssey proves to be an illuminating inspiration for all readers.”

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Nerdy Book Club finds Adrift at Sea to be “beautifully illustrated”

Posted on March 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“Adrift At Sea: A Vietnamese Boys Story of Survival by Marsha Forchuk Skyrpuch with Tuan Ho is likely the first picture book written by and about the refugees or boat people as they became known, fleeing Vietnam after the takeover of Saigon in 1975….This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of Tuan’s days at sea and their eventual rescue by American sailors. End pages include photographs and information that round out the story and tell of Tuan’s life in with his family in Toronto.”

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Adrift at Sea “tells a powerful story of survival” says Jana the Teacher

Posted on March 27th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“This beautiful nonfiction picture book tells a powerful story of survival and the harrowing experience of a group of Vietnamese refugees….Tuan Ho’s account of his family’s perilous trip, along with beautiful oil paintings to illustrate this narrative, make this a terrific resource for anyone who wants to learn more about Vietnamese refugees (sometimes referred to as ‘boat people’). It could also be used as a way to draw parallels to the experiences of refugee families of today.”

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Adrift at Sea will “help shed light on events of the past that share a similarity to those that are happening in the world today” says The Children’s War

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“The plight of refugees have been in the news a lot these days because of the war in Syria. As more and more borders are closed to them, it might be a good time to remember another group of refugees who arrived on North America’s shores and have contributed so much to their adopted country.

When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, and the communist government took over South Vietnam, daily life became so difficult and unbearable that families were willing to risk escaping their country in rickety boats not made for long sea voyages. But these boats were the only way out, unless you were rich….

Adrift at Sea
 is told from Tuan’s point of view, and aimed at readers about the same age as he was when he escaped Vietnam. Such a young narrator may not capture the truly difficult and risky trip in the kind of detail a book for older readers might, but he still very clearly depicts the fear, the hot sun, lack of water, and relief at being rescued at an age appropriate level that any young reader will be able understand.

Skrypuch has included a number photos of the Ho family, both in Vietnam and in Canada. She has also included a brief history of the ‘boat people’ as the refugees came to be called. The refugees faced not only the kinds of problems that the Ho family dealt with, but there were storms, pirates and always the threat of dying of thirst and hunger, and sometimes, they found that they were not welcomed everywhere.

Using a color palette mainly of oranges, yellows and blues, Deines’s highly textured oil on canvas illustrations capture all the secrecy, fear, and perils, all wrapped up in the dangerously hazy, hot, and humid weather that these refugees faced in their desire for freedom and a better life.

Adrift at Sea is a powerful historical nonfiction story that can certainly help shed light on events of the past that share a similarity to those that are happening in the world today.

This book is recommended for readers age 6+”

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Adrift at Sea is featured on Booklist Online

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“In this picture book for somewhat older readers, Ho narrates the story of his perilous escape from postwar Vietnam, in 1981, describing his pain at leaving behind loved ones and relief upon being rescued by an American aircraft carrier after six days adrift on the ocean. The text is terse and unembellished, leaving the rich images to capture the emotional events. Photographs of the family bookend the story and remind readers of the events’ reality.”

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Adrift at Sea receives a positive review from The International Educator

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_websiteAdrift at Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho, Illustrated by Brian Deines. What are Vietnamese boat people? Where did they go, and why? This beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book introduces the reader to a real family: two parents and their five children. Told in the voice of six-year-old Tuan, it explains how thousands were forced to flee communist South Vietnam after the Vietnam war….Tuan was among the lucky ones rescued by a U.S. naval ship….An interesting read that explains why and how people are sometimes forced to flee and find a new homeland.”

Read the full review in the December 2016 issue of The International Educator

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books calls Adrift at Sea “a powerful story”

Posted on January 1st, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“…[A] powerful story, and it doesn’t shy away from the dangers experienced—sometimes fatally—by the refugees. Deines’…scenes of escape are dramatic, and creative perspectives occasionally add dimension to the visuals. While this will be useful in a curriculum about immigration, it’s also a way to contextualize current refugee crises that haven’t yet hit the literature. A concluding note gives more information about the Vietnamese ‘boat people,’ and pictures of Tuan Ho and his family are included alongside the summary of the Ho family’s subsequent life.”

Read the full review in the January 2017 issue of Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Adrift at Sea “creates an opportunity for accompanied discussion” says Canadian Children’s BookNews

Posted on December 29th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website

“…Adrift at Sea tells this difficult tale with a direct honesty that creates an opportunity for accompanied discussion, especially for some younger readers. Skrypuch maintains a strong sense of hope throughout, demonstrating the true strength of young Tuan. It is also a powerful story for all readers in light of the Syrian refugee crisis, providing an accessible way to build empathy toward newcomers to Canada.

The illustrations by Brian Deines are detailed, giving the story a canvas-like texture, and they add depth and richness to the imagery created by the words. This balances with the black-and-white photographs included of Tuan. The final pages of the book give the historical context, which may help it to reach an even broader audience of readers interested in the historical significance and the real-life outcome of the story.”
Ashley Pamenter

Read the full review on page 26 of the Winter 2016 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

Book Dreaming “STRONGLY recommend[s]” Adrift at Sea to middle school and high school history classrooms

Posted on December 27th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_websiteThis is one of the most beautiful and powerful picture books Ive seen in a long time. I wasblown away by the emotional impact of both the story and the illustrations. It would make a perfect edition to any middle or high school history classroom. I STRONGLY recommend this one!

Click here to read the full review