Too Young to Escape

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Too Young to Escape

By Marsha Skrypuch Van Ho
Juvenile Fiction Ages 8–12
ISBN: 978-1-77278-066-6 (HC)
List Price: $17.95 CAD / $15.95 USD
Hardcover with dust jacket & reinforced trade binding
Trim Size: 5.75 x 8 inches / 14.61 x 20.32 cm
Pages: 144

Publication Date: October 26, 2018

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

One day they will send for her, but how long must Van Ho wait for her family to find a way to get her out of South Vietnam?

During the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Van wakes up one morning to find that her mother, her sisters Loan and Lan, and her brother Tuan are gone. They have escaped the new communist regime that has taken over Ho Chi Minh City for freedom in the West. Four-year-old Van is too young—and her grandmother is too old—for such a dangerous journey by boat, so the two have been left behind. Once settled in North America, her parents will eventually be able to sponsor them, and Van and her grandmother will fly away to safety. But in the meantime, Van is forced to work hard to satisfy her aunt and uncle, who treat her like an unwelcome servant. And at school she must learn that calling attention to herself is a mistake, especially when the bully who has been tormenting her turns out to be the son of a military policeman.

Told with the help of award-winning author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Van Ho‘s true story strikes at the heart and will resonate with so many families affected by war, where so many children are forced to live under or escape from repressive regimes.

Awards and Honours:
2018 CBC Books “13 Canadian middle-grade books to watch for this fall” selection

Reviews:
“The story is told from Van’s childhood perspective, with age-appropriate vocabulary and emotional heft. But readers of all ages will be immediately drawn to the simple, direct narration….[T]he authors eschew sentimentality and sensationalism, creating a straightforward autobiography that is truthful about resilience and the often unpredictable ways children act and react.”—Quill & Quire **Starred Review**

“With simple but engaging language, Skrypuch recounts Van Ho’s true story of her lonely and hard life in Vietnam during the years she was separated from her family….This illuminating chapter book respects an often overlooked demographic, providing transitioning readers a truthful yet age-appropriate introduction to big issues that still affect people to this day.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A]n extremely engaging account of a childhood in challenging circumstances.…Too Young to Escape is a welcome reminder of the post-Vietnam War refugee crisis that saw Canada, France, the United States and Australia welcome strangers in need. Readers will appreciate hearing this personal story from a child’s perspective….Van’s story and those of her family members remain timeless as well as time-specific. Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“Van Ho, who lived this story, tells it through Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s pen of extraordinary writing which reflects both Van’s youthful point of view and her trauma. Her story is disquieting but it’s also uplifting, focusing on Van’s resilience.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians