Posted on March 5th, 2013 by pajamapress
“…Although intended for a children audience, Last Airlift is a pleasurable, fast paced book for readers of any age. Tuyet’s rescue is nothing short of miraculous. Skrypuch helps the reader see the journey through Tuyet’s eyes, from her brave attempt to eat “horrible slimy” Catalina salad dressing to the first bonding moments with her adoptive father…”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted on March 4th, 2013 by pajamapress
“Skrypuch’s Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War (rev. 9/12) told the dramatic story of eight-year-old Tuyet’s 1975 rescue from Saigon aboard a giant plane filled with babies in cardboard boxes. This sequel describes Tuyet’s adjustment to life with her adoptive Canadian family, the story’s drama this time revolving around the surgery she must have on her leg. Polio has left Tuyet with one leg that’s weak and smaller than the other: “Her ankle turned inward, making her foot useless. She had to limp on the bone of her ankle to get around.” Memories of fire, bombs, helicopters, and a hospital—things she thought she’d forgotten—come flooding back, and Tuyet is all alone in the hospital (no parents allowed) and knows no English. Readers will be just as riveted to this quieter but no-less-moving story as Tuyet bravely dreams of being able to run and play—a new concept for a girl who has spent her days caring for babies. 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. Illustrated with photos. Includes notes, further resources, and an index.”
—jennifer m. brabander
Posted on February 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress
The International Reading Association has published a series of book reviews about social justice-themed books for children of all ages. One of their selections is One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch:
“This companion book to Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War (2012) provides the chapters that follow in the life of young Tuyet, a Vietnamese orphan stricken with polio and raised in a Vietnamese orphanage until her adoption by a Canadian family. As Tuyet becomes part of her new family, she also faces the surgeries that are required to repair her inward-turning foot. Unable to speak much English, the young girl is frightened by the hospital and surgical lights, the doctors, the consultations and examinations since she is still dealing with the nightmares of war-torn Vietnam and near-death experiences with guns and helicopters. As the surgeries conclude and the painful physical therapy begins, her new life starts to take shape. The cover of the book and the red shoes pictured take on a very special meaning by the end of this heart-warming book that will leave readers in tears. Teachers can read an interview with the author on the back matter for her book.”
—Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Click here to see the full social justice book review list.
Posted on February 13th, 2013 by pajamapress
Tuyet was born in Vietnam and raised in an orphanage until a family in the US adopts her. Tuyet was stricken with polio which has left her leg weak and her foot twisted. She needs to have a series of operations to help her walk again and this is her story. Tuyet doesn’t speak English and is very scared about what is happening, but her parents find people to translate for her to help her along until she learns English. This is a story of bravery, love, and courage.
Click here to read the full post.
Posted on January 21st, 2013 by pajamapress
“In this continuation of Last Airlift (Pajama Press, 2012), eight-year-old Tuyet is now adjusting to life with her Canadian adoptive family, the Morrises. She is uneasy about sleeping alone after years in a crowded orphanage and is troubled by recurring nightmares of the war. In addition to the trauma she has endured, Tuyet suffers from the painful effects of having had polio. One of the book’s many touching scenes occurs when Mrs. Morris buys the child her first new footwear. She delights at the prospect of getting shiny red shoes, even though the left one could not be worn, due to her shrunken leg and twisted foot. Her mother does not give up until she finds a soft, red slipper that fits over Tuyet’s left foot, making the pair complete. Skrypuch only describes Tuyet’s first operation and subsequent therapy, and her first steps using a leg brace, an orthopedic shoe, and crutches. In her notes, she details five additional surgeries, ending with the operation that made the child’s legs the same length. To capture accurate details more than three decades after these events happened, the author interviewed Tuyet’s two adoptive sisters, her surgeon, and the hospital archivist as well as Tuyet herself. A historical note about the eradication of polio in North America and suggestions for ways to help make universal vaccination a reality are appended. The black-and-white cover photo of Tuyet’s face looking apprehensive and earnest is of a better quality than the handful of rather grainy ones in the text. An inspiring story that will appeal to a wide audience.”
—Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA
Posted on January 2nd, 2013 by pajamapress
Pajama Press is pleased to announce that Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is a finalist for the 2012 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (CYBILS) in the category of Non-fiction: Middle Grade and Young Adult.
CYBILS nominations are collected from members of the public each year for English or bilingual books for children or young adults published in Canada or the United States. Judges from the book blogging community will announce the 2012 winners on February 14, 2013.
Last Airlift has also been shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Red Maple Non-Fiction Award, the Red Cedar Information Book Award, and the Hamilton Literary Award.
Click here for more information about the CYBILS.
Click here for more information about Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War.
Posted on January 1st, 2013 by pajamapress
In November 2012 The Nonfiction Detectives posted a wonderful review of Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War. Now those two intrepid blogger-librarians have compiled a list of the “Top Ten History Books of 2012,” and Last Airlift shares the stage with titles like We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, and Bomb: the race to build—and steal—the world’s most dangerous weapon.
Click here to view the full list.
Posted on December 17th, 2012 by pajamapress
This is a simple little biography/history. It’s the story of a Vietnamese girl, one of the last to be rescued as the North Vietnamese army marched into Saigon. It’s easy enough for a younger reader to understand and while it doesn’t soften the harsh realities, there’s nothing too graphic. It focuses mostly on Tuyet’s emotions and adjustment to living in Canada with a family.
Click here to read the full review.
Posted on December 1st, 2012 by pajamapress
In this sequel to Last Airlift (2012), Vietnamese orphan Tuyet, now rooted and happy in her adoptive Toronto family, is terrified of the surgery she has to undergo to straighten her leg and ankle, which were left twisted from the polio she contracted in Saigon. As she lies in the hospital recovering from the operation, her leg in “cement,” she is haunted by nightmares of the past and by her fear of losing her present home. Is there something she has done to upset Mom and Dad? Are they sending her away? Unable to speak English, she cannot ask for help in the hospital, and her confusion about what is happening now forms the story’s drama. Occasional black-and-white photos show Tuyet at home in Toronto with her loving parents and siblings. Along with the true personal story, the facts about polio across the globe, past and present, will grip readers.— Hazel Rochman
Posted on November 27th, 2012 by pajamapress
…Readers will immediately be drawn in from the very first page. The book only covers Tuyet’s journey by airplane from Saigon to Toronto, Canada and her adoption to a new family who loves her very much. When Tuyet is flying to Canada, another orphan, Linh, gives her some advise. Whenever someone asks you something in English, answer, No. That will stop them from doing what they were going to do. The last three chapters are most touching as we learn just how patient Tuyet’s new family is as they learn how to communicate with each other. (They do not speak Vietnamese) Some of the changes in Tuyet’s life were difficult. For instance, Tuyet was used to sleeping with all the other orphans on the floor at the orphanage, she is unable to adjust to sleeping alone in a bed in her own bedroom.
Historic black & white photographs, including some of Tuyet, enhance the reading experience.
In a historic note, Skrypuch briefly explains the rescue operation. In her Author’s note, we learn that Tuyet currenly lives in Skrypuch’s hometown of Brantford, Ontario. It is great to see Tuyet as a grown up woman.
Click here to read the full review.