Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘vietnamese-refugee-crisis’

Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center recommends Adrift at Sea “to classes who are discussing the issue of refugees…in the USA.”

Posted on October 6th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“Back matter includes photographs of the family, later reunited. The illustrations are oil on canvas; they help in telling the story of risks that the Vietnamese ‘Boat People’ faced. Verdict: Today 11 million illegal immigrants are in the United States, seeking a better life. This book should be read aloud to classes who are discussing the issue of refugees and illegal immigration in the USA.”
—Carol Bernardi

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Adrift at Sea is “an amazing story” says Teacher Dance

Posted on May 30th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“Tuan’s story is co-written by him and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. There is further explanation of the war and the family, and photographs in the backmatter. All the family has survived, the children have grown up and now have families of their own. Illustrations by Brian Deines are gorgeous paintings, mostly double-page spreads. They show the action and challenge, most of all the happiness of being rescued. It’s an amazing story. The blurb on the inside cover states this is the first picture book that describes the plight of the Vietnam ‘boat people’ refugees. It seems important in light of the recent tragedies of refugees fleeing their homes in Syria and other countries.”

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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 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

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Adrift at Sea is “a good introduction to the subject of the Vietnamese boat people…” says Semicolon

Posted on November 18th, 2016 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“…The illustrations in this book, full color paintings, are absolutely stunning. Canadian illustrator, Brian Deines, has outdone himself in two-page spreads that bring this refugee story to life.

The story itself, a slice of life, begins abruptly without any explanation as to why the family must leave Vietnam. Nor does the main part of the text explain what happens to Tuan Ho and family after they are rescued at sea. However, there are some explanatory pages with both photographs and text at the end of the book that tell readers about the history of the Vietnam War and about the entire history of Tuan Ho’s family and their emigration from Vietnam and eventual reunification in Canada. It’s a good introduction to the subject of the Vietnamese boat people for both older students and middle grade readers. Even primary age children could appreciate Tuan Ho’s story with a little bit of explanation from a parent or teacher about the war and the Communist persecution that they were fleeing….”

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