A beautiful omnibus edition of the award-winning biographies Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War and One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way
Tuyet remembers little about life before the Saigon orphanage, before polio left her limping and in constant pain, before the war made it too dangerous to stand under the bomb-filled Vietnam sky. Unable to play with the other children and knowing that at eight she is too old be adopted, she helps care for the babies in the orphanage. So when frantic aid-workers load a van full of babies and take Tuyet as well, she thinks that’s why she is there: as a carer. She can’t guess that, with the capital about to fall to the North Vietnamese, she is being evacuated on the last airplane full of at-risk children bound for new adoptive homes in the west.
Before she knows what is happening, Tuyet is whisked into life with the Morris family: Mom, Dad, their biological daughter Beth, and their adopted children Lara and Aaron. It takes some time to really understand that she isn’t there to help care for baby Aaron: she is there to be their daughter. She learns that the bright sparks in the sky are stars, not bombs, that flames on a birthday cake are nothing to fear, and that her only jobs are to play and to be loved. But a bigger test stands before Tuyet: corrective surgery for her twisted ankle, and a gruelling physiotherapy regimen. Unable to speak English yet and terrified that the procedure will fail, Tuyet must draw on every ounce of courage and focus on her dream of running and kicking a ball in a pair of matching shoes.
Sky of Bombs, Sky of Stars: A Vietnamese War Orphan Finds Home is an omnibus edition of the award-winning Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War and One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way. Retold by acclaimed children’s author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Tuyet’s dramatic true story is based on personal interviews and enhanced with archival photos.
Praise for Sky of Bombs, Sky of Stars: A Vietnamese War Orphan Finds Home
2020 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens selection
“In giving young Tuyet her own unique voice and vividly presenting her joys and anxieties in a carefully structured story, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has created an excellent work of literary nonfiction….Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine
“For young readers who have not had the privilege of reading Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s award-winning non-fiction books about Son Thi Anh Tuyet…Sky of Bombs, Sky of Stars offers an omnibus of the two earlier stories….Sky of Bombs, Sky of Stars truly gives young readers the more complete story of a Vietnamese war orphan’s journey from hardships and horror to hope and home.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians
“Two fascinating and award-winning biographies in one…[Tuyet’s] compelling story is full of bravery and perseverance. Readers are given such an incredible window to a refugee’s experience and the obstacles they must overcome in an unfamiliar place….Sky Of Bombs, Sky Of Stars will be an excellent non-fiction addition to any library.”—Band of MG Books
Praise for Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War
“The author tells Tuyet’s story with respect and dignity, introducing readers to a brave girl caught up in the turbulent times of her country, her fears of leaving what she knew, and the joy of finding a new life.”—School Library Journal
“An excellent first step on the ladder that leads to such fine immigrant tales as Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“Tuyet’s remarkable true story recounts the heroic rescue on a plane bigger than her orphanage, with babies hurriedly placed in cardboard boxes and an unknown future for all. With the new foods, her own bed, eating with a fork, using a toothbrush (instead of her fingers and some salt), walking on grass (instead of rice paddies), and learning that the lights in the nighttime sky are stars instead of bombs, it’s her adjustment to a foreign land and an adopted family that proves most fascinating.”—Booklist
“Immediate and compelling, this moving refugee story deserves a wide audience.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[The] 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.”—Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books
“Enhanced with documents and a surprising number of photographs, Airlift is a touching, multi-layered experience. The strength of Skrypuch’s storytelling shows strongest in the smallest details.”—Book Dragon/Smithsonian Institute
Praise for One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way
“An inspiring story that will appeal to a wide audience.”—School Library Journal
“Readers [who enjoyed Last Airlift] will be just as riveted to this quieter but no-less-moving story as Tuyet bravely dreams of being able to run and play…Especially satisfying is Skrypuch’s portrayal of Tuyet’s growing trust in her adoptive family, whose love and affection never fail to amaze and thrill her.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“Along with the true personal story, the facts about polio across the globe, past and present, will grip readers.”—Booklist
“[T]he author describes Tuyet’s operation and subsequent recovery with sympathy and respect….Readers of this moving refugee story will celebrate as well.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Step by step, Skrypuch shows with forthright clarity how Tuyet becomes her own very best hero.”—BookDragon/Smithsonian Institute