Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘vietnamese-refugee’

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.”

Click here to read the full review

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.”

Click here to read the full review

Adrift at Sea is “Highly Recommended” by School Library Connection

Posted on March 1st, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“…The beautiful, full-page oil paintings effectively convey the dangerous escape, the blistering heat, and the loneliness of being adrift on the ocean. Photographs, maps, and historical background on the Vietnamese refugee crisis provide historical context and form an emotional connection with the story. This is an especially useful book to help students understand why refugees are still crowding into boats and risking everything for a better life even today.”
—MaryAnn Karre, Retired Librarian, Vestal, New York

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.”

Click here to read the full review

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

Midwest Book Review says Adrift at Sea “will prompt young people to be grateful for the good things in their lives”

Posted on December 12th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_websiteAdrift at Sea is a nonfiction picturebook about a six-year-old Vietnamese boy named Tuan Ho, one of sixty Vietnamese refugees who, in the year 1981, braved a dangerous sea journey in search of a better life. The a two-page spread at the end place Tuan Ho’s journey in historical context, describing the exodus of refugees who fled Vietnam after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The final page gives the story of Tuan Ho’s family members, who were separated by their attempts to escape Vietnam. Adrift at Sea is a heartwarming story that will prompt young people to be grateful for the good things in their lives, and highly recommended.”

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Adrift at Sea gets a 5 Star review from Kids’ Book Buzz

Posted on December 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“We rated this book: 5/5

Tuan lives in a place where life isn’t very good and a lot of people are getting killed. His mother tells him that they are going on a boat to escape….

This book is true, and it is really sad. It was really scary for Tuan to try to escape, and the worst thing was that his family couldn’t be together for a long time. The pictures really help you understand how it would have felt. This is a good book to help you understand how people feel and the things they have to do if they feel like they need to run away from bad things that are happening where they live.”
—Rachel, Age 9

Click here to read the full review

Sal’s Fiction Addiction reviews Adrift at Sea

Posted on November 7th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“…Today we are all aware of the refugee crisis that grips the world. Too many people are forced to flee their homes in search of safety and a better life, away from the strife and danger in their own villages, towns, cities, countries. We see their faces, hear their stories and share their hopes for a happier future.

In 1981, the ‘boat people’ from Vietnam are struggling to deal with what has happened in their own beloved country. They, too, see their only hope is in leaving….

The authors include personal photographs of Tuan’s family, before their escape and following their settling in Canada, to help readers understand this historical moment in time. Added information includes a map, archival and family photos, and an explanation for the need to leave….

The dangers were many, their journeys harrowing, and the time spent in refugee camps often too long. Still, they stayed the course and eventually many settled in ‘the United States, France, Australia, and Canada.’

Brian Deines (as he always does) has created truly beautiful artwork using oils on canvas to bring Tuan’s story to this book’s readers. From the lush, tropical street in Ho Chi Minh City, the dark seashore, the blistering heat of a sun-filled sky, the clear blue beauty of the sea beneath them where dolphins play, to the almost overpowering arrival of the aircraft carrier, we journey with the family as they make their courageous way to a new life.”

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Kirkus reviews Adrift at Sea

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“A young Vietnamese boy and his family flee Vietnam in search of a better life. Along with co-author Skrypuch, Vietnamese-Canadian Ho recounts his family’s flight from Vietnam in 1981. At the book’s outset, 6-year-old Ho returns home from school to learn that he, his mother, and his two older sisters will leave Vietnam that very night. Each hour of the Ho family’s flight is fraught with danger. Soldiers shoot at them on the beach when they make a run toward a skiff. Their boat springs a leak, and soon after, the motor dies, leaving 60 passengers adrift in the middle of the sea with little water and food. Throughout the harrowing passage, Ho’s mother is by his side, comforting him. On the sixth day of their four-day journey, an American aircraft carrier spots their boat and offers the Vietnamese passengers refuge….[D]etailed authors’ notes include history, photographs, and maps. The warm undertones in Deines’ oil paintings evoke tropical Vietnam…”

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Adrift at Sea is featured on Literacy Daily’s article “War and Its Aftermath”

Posted on November 1st, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“…In this visually stunning picture book—the first to explore this troubling time—readers learn of the dangerous journey taken by 6-year-old Tuan Ho and his family in 1981. Slipping away under cover of darkness, the family ends up on an overcrowded fishing boat that breaks down, leaving them stranded and suffering from thirst and punishing heat for four days before being rescued by an American aircraft  carrier. The evocative text and powerful illustrations, painted with oils, enable readers to feel as though they, too, are refugees adrift at sea during this risky journey to freedom. Back matter includes family photographs, showing Tuan Ho’s family then and now, as well as a brief discussion of the events that led to the family’s flight from Vietnam to Canada.”

Click here to read the full War and Its Aftermath article

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