Pajama Press

Archive for December, 2011

Ken Setterington’s Picks, The Next Chapter, CBC Radio

Posted on December 16th, 2011 by pajamapress


Ken Setterington

“…the kind of great YA literature that you need people to
 read and discuss. …Powerful.”

Ken Setterington’s Picks,

    The Next Chapter, CBC Radio

The show will air on  Sat. Dec 17, 4 – 5 pm. Alternatively you can hear the show at:

True Blue is discussed near the end of the show (50 minutes, 43 seconds).


CanLit for Little Canadians review of True Blue

Posted on December 15th, 2011 by pajamapress

“Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda. That could be Jess’ catchphrase, especially when it comes to the choices she makes with respect to her best friend, Casey White, a.k.a. Praying Mantis…Many reviewers speak of True Blue as a departure for Deborah Ellis from her issues-driven books such as The Breadwinner, Parvana’s Journey, and I am a Taxi, set in developing countries.  But I see True Blue as a furtherance of Ellis’ writing into the behaviours of young when faced with hardships (whether physical or motional) in order to cope or even survive.  The choices may not always be the best, in the eyes of the reader or an adult, but they are adopted and their consequences endured or embraced.  Ellis has created a real story about young people we may know and given us much to ponder about choices made. Brilliant.”

View the Review Here

Rachel’s Reading Timbits Review of Deborah Ellis’s True Blue

Posted on December 12th, 2011 by pajamapress

Check out Rachel’s Reading Timbits for a great review of Deborah Ellis’s novel, True Blue!

True Blue: An Engaging and Gripping Read


Great review in the Winnipeg Free Press, “Put a few quiet moments under the tree”

Posted on December 12th, 2011 by pajamapress


Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War

By Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

WHEN the Americans pull out of Saigon in April 1975, many babies are rescued from the orphanage where eight-year-old Tuyet has lived for years. The orphanage is to be abandoned and the children left alone.

But Tuyet had polio and walks with a limp; she doesn’t expect to be chosen to go to a foreign country.

Ontario-based Skrypuch, who has written a number of award-winning books for young people, tells the true story of how this little girl is transported to Toronto and finds a loving home with a Canadian family. She makes us feel Tuyet’s fears, confusion and loneliness as she adjusts to her new home. Her book uses actual photographs of Tuyet and her family.

View the Review Here

Q&A with Marsha Skrypuch: The Hungry Novelist Blog

Posted on December 1st, 2011 by pajamapress


Read the Q&A here.





Last Airlift — In the Brant News

Posted on December 1st, 2011 by pajamapress

The Brant News
by Colleen Toms
November 24, 2011

Flipping through the pages of Brantford author Marsha Skrypuch’s newest book, The Last Airlift, Tuyet Yurczyszyn points to a black and white photograph.

The picture shows numerous children, including babies strapped into cardboard boxes, sitting in the belly of a Hercules aircraft.

An arrow with the name Tuyet points toward a young girl.

“That’s me right there,” Yurczyszyn said.

Skrypuch’s latest novel, her first non-fiction work, chronicles the story of Yurczyszyn’s journey to Canada as one of 57 Vietnamese orphans rescued from the city of Saigon during the Vietnam War.

Eight years old and walking with a limp as a result of polio, she was one of the oldest children in her Saigon orphanage. Her age and limp marked her as “unadoptable.”

That all changed when a Brantford couple turned up at Surrey Place in Toronto. For the first time she could remember, Yurczyszyn was part of a family. She was about to head to her new home.

The Last Airlift is an uplifting story geared toward readers in Grades 4 to 8. Skrypuch said the book not only offers insight into the fate of children in war, but also how people can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

“Whether they are children or adults, we see people walking around but we don’t know what people have gone through or what they have gone through to become Canadians,” she said. “Every single one of us has something to make them feel that they are different. With this story, the reader can have more empathy for other people.”

Upon her arrival to Canada, Yurczyszyn discovered her first blade of grass, stars in the night sky and a bed of her own. More importantly, she discovered what it was like to be part of a family with a real mom and dad.

“There were mostly nuns at the orphanage, not males so much,” she said. “I remember thinking it’s a really great feeling, like I belong to somebody now. The only thing was, my fear was always that I was going to be sent back, that I wasn’t good enough.”

Enjoying a traditional Vietnamese meal at Quan 99, Skrypuch was preparing to interview Yurczyszyn about her life growing up in Brantford as the newest daughter of John and Dorothy Morris. It will become a sequel to The Last Airlift.

“It was after interviewing Dieu and Hung Nguyen (the owners of Quan 99) in the early 1990s that first sparked my interest in Vietnamese-Canadian stories,” Skrypuch said. “It was an odd thing for Tuyet to have her childhood recorded in other people’s history. I am thankful to have been able to give that back to her.”

Yurczyszyn is now happily married to husband Darren and has two children, Luke and Bria.